News Americas, BOSTON, MA., Thurs. April 16, 015: Former tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez, will likely spend the rest of his life in jail without the possibility of parole after being convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder in the late-night June 2013 shooting of USVI-born Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez, 25, who was born in Bristol, Connecticut to a father with Puerto Rican roots, appeared to shake his head slightly as the verdict was read but otherwise showed no emotion.
His mother Terri and fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, however, gasped and sobbed loudly as the verdict was read.
A jury in Fall River, Massachusetts, had deliberated 36 hours over seven days.
Hernandez was also convicted of gun charges in the killing of Lloyd, 27, who was a semipro player and landscaper dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.
Ursula Ward, who was born in the USVI, told Bristol Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh before the formal sentence, that her son was the “backbone of the family.”
In her victim impact statement, Ward said “The day I laid my son to rest — I felt my heart stop beating.” She added “I miss my baby boy so much. I wanted to go into that hole with him.” But she told the court that she forgives Hernandez.
ABOUT ODIN LLOYD
Lloyd was born to Odin Leonardo John Lloyd and Ursula in Saint Croix, the U.S. Virgin Islands. The family moved to Antigua when Odin was a baby before the family moved to Massachusetts. He has two sisters, Olivia Thibou and Shaquilla Thibou.
Speaking during the sentencing phase, sister, Olivia Thibou, choked back tears and recalled how close they were, calling or texting every day.
“At the age of 25, I was asked to write my brother’s eulogy, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “And I wrote it with a smile because I got to write all the great memories that I had of him.”
“It doesn’t feel like Odin’s not here,” she said. “It feels like just a bad dream.”
The jury heard that on the night of June 17, 2013, Hernandez, along with two other friends, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, picked Odin Lloyd up at his home in Boston, MA. He thought he was going out partying with his friends but Hernandez drove him to an abandoned lot in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. There, he shot-and-killed his former friend six times. Hernandez was formally charged with murder on July 26, 2013.
At the time of his arrest, Hernandez had just been awarded a $40 million contract with the Patriots, one of the most celebrated organizations in sports.
Hernandez now faces a second trial later this year in Boston, where he is charged with shooting two men to death outside a nightclub. He also still faces a lawsuit in the death of Lloyd, who was found shot near the athlete’s North Attleborough home — one of several cases still pending.