Aaron Hernandez certainly exhibits advanced athletic skill, as he received the John Mackey award as the nation’s best college tight-end in 2009 and experienced successful seasons playing for the New England Patriots since 2010, but now it is his legal future at risk.
Hernandez has been on trial, facing three charges: murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition, since January of this year for the murder of Odin Lloyd . In terms of murder charge specifically, the outcome could be not guilty, first degree murder, and second degree murder. The difference between the sentences for first and second degree murder is the option of parole after fifteen years.
The details of Hernandez’s criminal activity over the past three years have been widely debated and questioned. Allegedly, Hernandez was involved in the murders of two men in 2012 that are tied to the murder of Lloyd. Trials concerning these three murders and all those involved have been ongoing in Suffolk County since 2013.
Two of Hernandez’s alleged accomplices in Lloyd’s murder were indicted in April of last year. Hernandez’s fiancée has been accused of perjury multiple times in the process. A judge signed an arrest warrant for Hernandez in June of 2013, and he was cut from the Patriots hours later.
Hernandez is not unfamiliar with police and legal affairs. Since playing for the University of Florida Gators, he has exhibited violent behavior in public settings and been questioned by the police on multiple occasions. Even in jail, Hernandez has exhibited poor behavior. He has been indicted on assault charges in a jailhouse because of a violent and threatening encounter with another inmate and a correctional officer.
This event contributes to Hernandez’s current, albeit, confusing legal situation. After the trial concerning Lloyd’s death has been closed, Hernandez will then have to stand trial for the 2012 double homicide.
Jurors have been deliberating since the closing arguments were delivered on April 7. After two months of testimony, the jury certainly have plenty of evidence to comb over and deliberate. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd’s murder and has sustained his belief that he would not put his career on the line for murder due to his contract with the Patriots at the time.
As of April 15, Hernandez was convicted of first degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. Due to the conviction, authorities believe Hernandez’s next trial, originally set for May, will be pushed back.
(Natasha Ladhani ’16, Features Editor)