Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction reinstatement denied
A single justice of the high court in Massachusetts has declined to reinstate former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction, which was voided after he committed suicide in April.
Hernandez, 27, hanged himself in his prison cell on April 19 as he served a life sentence without the possibility of parole. On April 15, 2015, Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in the execution of Odin Lloyd, a landscaper who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.
Two years later, on April 14, 2017, Hernandez was cleared of double murder charges in a Boston courtroom. Five days after crying when he heard the not guilty verdict, Hernandez killed himself and triggered a legal process that voided his conviction because he had not gone through the appeals process before taking his life.
Superior Court Judge E. Susan Garsh, who oversaw the Lloyd trial in Fall River, Mass., vacated Hernandez's murder conviction under the doctrine of abatement ab initio. The law states that if a prisoner has not exhausted his appeal upon his death, then his conviction is vacated.
Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, has had a wrongful-death lawsuit pending in Bristol Superior Court against Hernandez. Lloyd was found dead in a clearing of an undeveloped industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass. in June 2013.
"No matter what, the jurors found him guilty," Ward said in April. "That, in my book, makes him guilty."