FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — On Thursday, former New England Patriot and recently-convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez served the first day of his life sentence.
Jurors returned a guilty verdict on Wednesday, convicting Hernandez of first degree murder in the 2013 death of Odin Lloyd.
Prosecutors say they are relived — and also thankful — that they were able to give Lloyd’s family some measure of peace.
Now, Hernandez will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
“The appropriate verdict was rendered,” Bristol Country District Attorney Thomas Quinn said on Thursday.
When asked if he was surprised that the jury did not find Hernandez guilty based on pre-meditation, Quinn said no.
“Obviously one could conclude that [Lloyd] was taken there for the purposes of killing him. But who knows? Maybe they thought it was a confrontation that just took place right away. Maybe there was an argument — but that’s within their prerogative,” he said. “It was an appropriate verdict based on the evidence all woven together.”
Prosecutors say it was not difficult to try the case without the murder weapon — they say it’s actually more common not to have the murder weapon.
Quinn also said he did not find Shayanna Jenkins’ testimony to be credible.
Jenkins, Hernandez’s fiancee, burst into tears the moment the verdict was read on Wednesday. All along, prosecutors have said that Jenkins played a big part in covering up the crime. She admitted during testimony to getting rid of things from their home at her fiance’s request. Prosecutors think the murder weapon was in the box Jenkins tossed.
“I would say that Shayanna Jenkins had some interesting responses to the questions, like she didn’t know what dumpster she put in a very important piece of evidence from her fiance,” Quinn said. “I don’t think anybody found that to be credible.”
Jenkins was granted immunity for her testimony in Hernandez’s trial — but she still faces a perjury charge after allegedly lying to the grand jury.
Meanwhile, Quinn says the cases against Hernandez’s co-conspirators Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace are moving forward.
Ortiz’s attorney told Eyewitness News that he spoke with Ortiz right after the verdict came down — he said it was expected. Ortiz’s attorney has consistently maintained his client’s innocence.
But one of the three is no longer innocent in this case — Hernandez will serve his life sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.
His guilty verdict automatically triggers an appeal.
Hernandez still stands accused in the double-murder of two men in Boston back in 2012.