Former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has been convicted on all counts in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, including first-degree murder. He has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The verdict represents a stunning fall from grace for the former tight end, who just three years ago signed a five-year contract extension worth up to $40 million with the New England Patriots. Hernandez starred as a multi-sport athlete in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, and was a top player for the Florida Gators squad that won the 2008 national championship.
Hernandez’s father Dennis passed away suddenly in 2006 at the age of 49, a turning point in his life.
“I truly believe that Aaron wouldn’t be where he is today if his father were alive,” Bob Montgomery, Bristol historian and Bristol Press columnist, told Boston.com back in February. “[He and his brother] loved that man and they loved each other. Made me feel kind of funny. Boy, I wish I could show my son that love.”
Hernandez comes from a long line of great athletes in the Hernandez family. His father and older brother D.J. were stand-outs at Bristol Central High School, and both went on to successful football careers at the University of Connecticut. Aaron was the youngest Hernandez, and lauded as the greatest of them all when he was in middle school. (Read more from “Aaron Hernandez Guilty” HERE)