Aaron Hernandez is a convicted murdered once again after a Massachusetts court reversed a decision to vacate the former NFL’s conviction after his 2017 prison-cell suicide.
Deadspin reports that a Massachusetts court has reinstated Hernandez’s 2015 murder conviction for the death of Odin Lloyd, after determining that the legal principle that vacated the conviction was out-of-date and would no longer be applied in the state.
The murder conviction was in appeals when Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell in April 2017. Court documents obtained by Deadspin show that Justice Elspeth B. Cypher suggests a belief that Hernandez may have taken his own life in order to improve the financial outlook of his beneficiaries, his fiancee and young daughter.
“The Commonwealth urges us either to abandon the doctrine altogether or to recognize an exception to the doctrine where, as has been suggested may have been the case here, a defendant commits suicide to prevent the application of the doctrine and thereby collaterally to benefit surviving family members, heirs, or other beneficiaries,” the judgement reads.
” …upon the death of the defendant, the appeal shall be dismissed as moot and the trial court shall be instructed to place in the record a notation stating that the defendant’s conviction removed the defendant’s presumption of innocence, but that the conviction was appealed and it was neither affirmed nor reversed on appeal because the defendant died while the appeal was pending and the appeal was dismissed.”
As noted by the New York Post, court records will not state that the murder conviction was affirmed, due to Hernandez’s death.
[Feature image: AP Photo/ESPN]