NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TIGHT END AARON HERNANDEZ WAS FOUND GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER BY A JURY TODAY.
In an interview, jurors said they were shocked to hear the criminal defense lawyer admit that Hernandez was at the scene of Odin Lloyd’s death. From the witness testimony and evidence, it did not appear that the prosecution was going to be able to put Hernandez at the scene of Lloyd’s death. During closing arguments, Hernandez’s lawyer explained their theory of the case, which was that Hernandez’s co-defendants shot Lloyd to death during a PCP-induced rage as Hernandez looked on. Jurors didn’t buy it.
IN MY OPINION, THIS WAS AN EXTREMELY RISKY MOVE BY THE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER.
Unless the defense had an absolute air-tight explanation for Lloyd’s death – which ideally would include an ability to show their client did not commit the crime – it’s a big gamble to admit your client was at the crime scene, had an ability or opportunity to commit the crime, or otherwise had knowledge of the crime. The jurors admitted this misstep by the defense team contributed to their finding Aaron Hernandez guilty.
It’s not for the defense to explain what happened; that burden falls on the prosecution. As the defense, unless you’re absolutely sure of what happened and you’re able to show what happened with competent witness testimony or reliable evidence, you’re better off with a strategy of attacking the state’s case and showing how its theory of the case isn’t plausible.
TO BE FAIR, IT APPEARED AS THOUGH THERE WAS MORE THAN SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE FOR THE JURORS FIND AARON HERNANDEZ GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER.
The state presented over 100 witnesses that seemed to very heavily imply that Hernandez had murdered Lloyd. But the state still had a problem actually putting Hernandez at the crime scene with Lloyd at the time of the murder. The defense did not need to help the state prove this crucial point.
Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.