Jury finds former NFL player Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder

Jury finds former NFL player Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder

A jury of five men and seven women found former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 27-year-old semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.

In Massachusetts, a first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He was also found guilty of charges of illegal possession of firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

He will be formally sentenced Wednesday.

Both families wept after the verdict was read.

At the time of the murder, the star tight end had a $40 million contract with the Patriots. The team said it will not have a comment on the verdict.

Lloyd’s body was found in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez’s home. He had been shot six times.

In his closing arguments, defense attorney James Sultan said Hernandez was at the scene of the killing and saw it happen, but said Hernandez’s co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were the murderers.

Both men have pleaded not guilty and will be tried later.

Assistant District Attorney William McCauley said Hernandez’s behavior after the crime showed that he was involved. He cited evidence that Hernandez had rented a car for Wallace and directed his fiancee to give the two men $500 to flee, as well as surveillance video from inside Hernandez’s home that showed him hanging out with them a few hours after Lloyd was killed.

The trial featured hundreds of pieces of evidence and testimony from 135 witnesses — 132 of them called by the prosecution.

Prosecutors said Hernandez and two friends drove to Boston to pick up Lloyd at his home, then drove him to the industrial park in North Attleborough and killed him.

Surveillance video along the way showed Hernandez driving a rented silver Nissan Altima shortly before Lloyd’s sister saw him get into a silver car. Soon after, a toll booth camera caught the Nissan leaving Boston. Lloyd’s phone pinged several cell towers before stopping in North Attleborough for good.

Surveillance video at Hernandez’s home minutes after the shooting showed him holding a black item that appeared to be a gun. A joint found near Lloyd’s body had Hernandez’s and Lloyd’s DNA on it.