Former New England Patriots star tight Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd on Wednesday morning.
The guilty verdict carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Hernandez was found guilty of all six counts, headlined by first-degree murder and then carrying a firearm without a license, two counts of carrying a large-capacity firearm, possession of ammunition without an FID card and possession of a firearm without an FID card. The state of Massachusetts evokes an automatic appeal for a capital crime.
Hernandez looked expressionless and stoic as the verdict was read on this, the seventh day of jury deliberation. According to ESPN, Hernandez mouthed the words "be strong" to his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins. Jenkins, as well as Hernandez's mother, broke down in tears. Lloyd's grieving mother, Ursula Ward, cried just a few feet away. No jurors made eye contact with Hernandez, according to ESPN.
"I felt like I wanted to go into the hole with my son Odin," Ward said following the guilty verdict about burying her son. "I will never have a grandchild from my son. I will never get to dance at his wedding. I will never get to hear my son say 'Mommy Dukes. Ma go to bed. I love you, ma.' I miss my baby boy Odin so much, but I know that I'm going to see him again and that's giving me strength to go on.
"May God continue to bless us," she said in closing. "Thank you."
During closing arguments last week, Hernandez's lawyer told jurors that his client witnessed the homicide, but that he didn't commit the crime. The jury saw it another way.
Lloyd was murdered on June 17, 2013. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. Lloyd's body was riddled with six gunshot wounds when investigators found it in an industrial park.
On April 2, the prosecution rested after two months of testimony from 131 witnesses. Everyone from Hernandez's ex-friend Alexander Bradley to Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Jenkins testified. Jenkins, in particular, testified that Hernandez ordered her to dispose of a box. Officials believed that box contained the murder weapon. The defense rested after one day and only three witnesses.
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(Photo: AP Photo)