Aaron Hernandez is guilty again.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled Wednesday the former New England Patriots tight end’s 2015 murder conviction will stand, overturning a centuries’-old legal mechanism that vacated his original verdict. Hernandez legally had been an innocent man since April 2017 when he committed suicide in prison prior to exhausting all of his appeals under an ancient principle known as “abatement ab initio.”
Thomas M. Quinn III, District Attorney of Bristol County (Mass.) where Hernandez was accused, tried and convicted of killing Odin Lloyd in 2013, celebrated the SJC’s ruling in a statement.
Hernandez already was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing Lloyd when he committed suicide. Days prior to his death, a jury found Hernandez not guilty in the 2012 shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Lloyd’s family has sued Hernandez and his estate in civil court for wrongful death, seeking answers about their loved one’s murder and damages. Legal analysts believed vacating Hernandez’s murder conviction had made winning the case more difficult for the plaintiffs.
Hernandez’s lawyers will ask the SJC to reconsider their latest ruling on the former Patriots star, claiming judges “overlooked an essential point of fairness in applying its new rule to this case,” according to The Associated Press.
“The SJC did not state a cogent reason for applying this new rule to Mr. Hernandez’s case, and there is no reason in the record that justifies that aspect of this decision,” John Thompson and Linda Thompson said in a statement, per the AP.
Unless Massachusetts’ highest court changes its own decision, Hernandez will remain a convicted murderer for eternity.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images