The Aaron Hernandez story could finally be coming to an end as a judge has officially dismissed his conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
On Tuesday, Bristol County Judge Susan Garsh, who preceded over the original trial, ruled in the favor of Hernandez’s estate, agreeing that an ancient Massachusetts law should be applied here. It states that if a defendant dies while a conviction is still in the process of appeal then the verdict is vacated.
“Abatement is the law in this Commonwealth and this court is required to follow that precedent,” Garsh said citing case law. “… the Court has no other choice.”
Hernandez, 27, committed suicide late last month while serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Lloyd.
Prosecutors claim that Hernandez knew about the rule and used it as a loophole in some sneaky plot to get millions of dollars from the Patriots for his family. The Prosecution points to Hernandez’s suicide note as evidence of this plot, in which he told his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins “You’re rich!”
Prosecutors say Hernandez knew if his conviction was erased the Patriots would have to pay out the remainder of his NFL contract … estimated to be worth around $6.5 million.
Prosecutors from the Bristol County District Attorney’s office opposed that motion. They argued that abating Hernandez’s conviction would “reward the defendant’s conscious, deliberate and voluntary act” of killing himself, and that the abatement rule has no solid historical or legal basis. — but ultimately the judge didn’t see it their way … and cleared the conviction.
According to reports, Odin Lloyd’s family was in the courtroom when the judge announced her decision. They were visibly upset and left the courtroom in a rush.