FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the downfall of an athlete who once had a $40 million contract and a standout career ahead of him.
Hernandez, 25, looked to his right and pursed his lips after the jury forewoman read the verdict, convicting him in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper and amateur weekend football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. The first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Hernandez's mother, Terri, and his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, cried and gasped when they heard the verdict. Jenkins wept on his mother's shoulder. Hernandez later mouthed to them: "Be strong. Be strong."
The former football pro was also found guilty on both weapons charges he faced. The jury deliberated for 36 hours before rendering its verdict.
For reasons that were never made clear to the jury, Lloyd was shot six times in the middle of the night on June 17, 2013, in a deserted industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.