Hernandez murder conviction in Lloyd case to be voided after suicide

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<p>After six days of jury deliberations, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was <a href="https://twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/852962309345615874" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:found not guilty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">found not guilty</a> in a double murder trial of two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in a July 2012 drive-by shooting.</p><p>Hernandez, 27, is already serving a life sentence without parole in a Massachusetts prison after he was found guilty of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée at the time of his death.</p><p>Prosecutors argued that Hernandez&#39;s friend Alexander Bradley actually shot the two men over a drug deal.</p><p><strong><span>• Aaron Hernandez&#39;s brother retraces NFL star&#39;s path to murder</span></strong></p><p>Bradley, who is currently in prison for shooting up a nightclub in Hartford, Conn, was the prosecution&#39;s star witness and said that Hernandez became upset and shot the men because he felt disrespected after one of them bumped into Hernandez and spilled his drink.</p><p>The defense attorneys for Hernandez rested their case last Wednesday.</p><p>- <em>Chris Chavez and Scooby Axson</em></p>

Aaron Hernandez found not guilty in double murder trial

After six days of jury deliberations, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found not guilty in a double murder trial of two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in a July 2012 drive-by shooting.

Hernandez, 27, is already serving a life sentence without parole in a Massachusetts prison after he was found guilty of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée at the time of his death.

Prosecutors argued that Hernandez's friend Alexander Bradley actually shot the two men over a drug deal.

• Aaron Hernandez's brother retraces NFL star's path to murder

Bradley, who is currently in prison for shooting up a nightclub in Hartford, Conn, was the prosecution's star witness and said that Hernandez became upset and shot the men because he felt disrespected after one of them bumped into Hernandez and spilled his drink.

The defense attorneys for Hernandez rested their case last Wednesday.

- Chris Chavez and Scooby Axson

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell on Wednesday morning, just days after being acquitted for a 2012 double homicide.

At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence without parole in a Massachusetts prison after he was found guilty of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

According to Massachusetts law, that conviction is automatically appealed to the state's highest court.

Because Hernandez had not exhausted all of his appeals when he died, his conviction in the Lloyd case will be voided.

The void in the case is due to a legal principle called “abatement ab initio," which in Latin, means to roll back a process to its beginning. It's essentially a rule stating that a defendant that is deceased will be treated as though they never were convicted of that crime.

“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure. Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man," Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association told the Boston Globe. "But in a court of law, under legal principles, [Hernandez] died an innocent man.”

Hernandez, 27, was found hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Barnowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., at 3:05 a.m. and died an hour later at a nearly hospital.

Authorities say that Hernandez used a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window to hang himself after first attempting to block the door by jamming the door with several items.

- Scooby Axson

This article was originally published on SI.com

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