Judge grants request to erase Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction
- Author: Julie Sanders May 11, 2017,
May 11, 2017, 21:04
Judge E. Susan Garsh ruled Tuesday that Hernandez, who hanged himself in a prison cell last month, had not completed the automatic appeals process for his first-degree murder conviction from 2015.
Hernandez's conviction in the 2013 murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd was vacated Tuesday due to a MA law allowing for such a decision if a person dies before their appeal process fully plays out, per CNN.com's Eric Levenson and Holly Yan.
Prosecutors, however, have argued that dismissing his murder conviction would reward his "conscious, deliberate and voluntary" act of taking his own life. Garsh insisted that there was no way to know what Hernandez thought as he prepared to kill himself.
The prosecution can appeal the decision, but they haven't announced if they will.
You have always been my soulmate and I want you to live life and know I'm always with you.
Prosecutor Patrik Bomberg argued otherwise and noted that according to a police report, Hernandez mentioned his awareness of the abatement law to a fellow inmate and in a suicide note addressed to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez. They argued that while MA may practice abatement when someone dies before their appeals are heard, it's not a constitutional right. A lawyer for the estate of Hernandez's estate asked the judge to overturn the conviction after he died.
One was filed by Ursula Ward, the mother of Lloyd, a landscaper who Hernandez was convicted of killing.
Before his death, Hernandez was in the middle of an appeal review by the state Supreme Judicial Court.
Norris said now that Hernandez's conviction has been vacated, the family's wrongful death lawsuit becomes more similar to one brought against another disgraced National Football League figure: O.J. He was convicted this year in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III delivered a strong rebuke of the principle behind the dismissal of the charges after the decision was made.
State police said in an investigative report that Hernandez was found naked April 19 and hanging from a bed sheet tied around the window bars of his cell.
Prosecutors have said that they plan to file an appeal of the vacated conviction.
Speaking at a press conference after Quinn, Ward said she found strength in her faith in God.
That could have a big impact on the civil trial against Hernandez.