Aaron Hernandez, 25, the charismatic ex-tight end for the New England Patriots, is a killer.
It took a Fall River, MA jury seven days to deliberate, but their verdict is decisive. Aaron Hernandez is guilty of all charges, including murder in the first degree.
It was Hernandez who lured Odin Lloyd, 27, into an empty industrial park and then shot him execution style with a Glock .45-caliber as Lloyd writhed on the ground. And it was Hernandez who then left him there, along with a joint with his own DNA on it.
Lloyd, a landscaper and semi-professional football player, was Hernandez’s friend. The two had gone out partying just two nights before. Lloyd was even dating Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister. To get him into the car, Hernandez told them they were going to go out to a club again that night.
The prosecution had to jump a few hurdles to get the jury to find him guilty. For one, they never found the Glock in question. The prosecution claims Hernandez’s fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins, threw it into a dumpster.
Hernandez’s defense attorney, James Sultan, also claimed that his client’s friends from Bristol, Conn.—Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz—were the real killers. Wallace and Ortiz are facing charges in a separate trial. While Sultan admitted Hernandez was present for the murder, he contended Wallace and Ortiz killed Lloyd over a drug dispute. Hernandez didn’t call the police because he was scared of them, he said.
Somehow the jury didn’t buy that the 6’1”, 245-pound NFL All-Pro was intimidated. Especially when he let his alleged accomplices hold his infant daughter the next day.
Hernandez isn’t just a murderer. He was at once a master manipulator and really good at time management. He some how figured out how to smoke an ounce of marijuana a week, maintain a secret apartment, murder someone, and play an integral role for one of the best teams in NFL history. Then, due to footage on his own security system, where he was seen going in and out of his house carrying an item that looked very much like a .45-caliber glock, it all unraveled.
Up until his arrest, Hernandez was essentially America’s poster boy. He couldn’t convince the jury of that, but what’s so terrifying about this case is just how many people he’d deceived up until now.
Most notably, he tricked Massachusetts’ celebrated icon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Kraft had signed him on to a five-year, $40 million contract.
Then, on June 19, 2013, two days after the murder—when the media frenzy was circling around Gillette Stadium—Hernandez told Kraft he was innocent, according to The Boston Globe.
The conversation ended as it always did with Hernandez and Kraft, with a hug and a kiss.
Nine days after his arrest, Kraft told reporters that if Hernandez was guilty then, “our whole organization has been duped.”
Well, Bob. It looks like that’s exactly what happened.
And it could get worse. Hernandez is still facing charges for a July 2012 double homicide, a shoot out in front of a the Boston club, Cure. The victims were Daniel Abreu, 28, and Safiro Furtado, 29.
Prosecutors have suggested that Hernandez killed Lloyd because he knew Hernandez was a killer, though the judge ruled they could not bring this up in trial.
If that’s true then the entire nation watched and cheered as Hernandez played an entire season, catching five touchdowns, all with blood on his hands.