Former New England Patriots and Florida Gators tight end Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty of first degree murder for the killing of Odin Lloyd.
The conviction has a mandatory life sentence without parole and also includes an automatic appeal (which has not been set at this time) in the highest court of Massachusetts.
Hernandez was also found guilty of carrying a firerman without a license, two counts of carrying large-capacity firearms, possession of ammunition without a FID card and possession of a firearm without a FID card.
The judge in the case prohibited the prosecution from letting jurors know about previous issues with the law that Hernandez had and disallowed some incriminating text messages. Hernandez’s all-star defense team built a case that tried to put as much reasonable doubt in jurors minds as possible. Despite that, the jurors came back with a verdict that I think most people saw coming.
The once promising life of former Florida Gators and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez will now be spent at MCI-Cedar Junction prison in Walpole, Massachusetts which is less than a ten minute car ride from Gillette Stadium where Hernandez used to play football.
Even though the NFL has long since cut ties with Hernandez, this is yet another black-eye for them and commissioner Roger Goodell as Hernandez adds his name to the growing list of notorious criminals who have played in the league.
This story started much earlier than the NFL as Hernandez was clearly a troubled kid at Florida whose coach, Urban Meyer, kept on the team despite numerous instances of poor behavior. Despite failing drug tests before the NFL Draft and being rumored to be involved in “gang” activity, the Patriots still gave Hernandez a chance to play in the NFL and turn his life around. As a member of the Patriots, Hernandez simply continued with his trend of bad behavior despite being given the “golden ticket” of an NFL career.
With the NFL Draft coming up, this should be a cautionary tale to not only prospective NFL players but also to college coaches and NFL executives but you have to wonder just how many teams and players it will truly impact. Is this more representative of the violent sport that football is or just another example of a bad seed being attracted to football because of it’s violent nature and not being able to fix his life off the field.