Ex-NFL star Hernandez’s murder conviction poses legal challenge

April 16, 2015

The publicity around Wednesday’s (April 15) conviction of former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez for a 2013 murder will make it more difficult to seat an impartial jury in the next trial he faces, on charges of a 2012 double slaying.

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However, experts are saying that the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole that he received for the first-degree murder of an acquaintance, Odin Lloyd, also raises the possibility that prosecutors in Boston would agree to a plea deal that would spare a second trial.

The jurors who found the 25-year-old former New England Patriots tight end guilty of murdering 27-year-old Odin Lloyd told reporters that they had known nothing about the additional murder charges Hernandez faced until after they reached a verdict.

It may be harder to find a jury to consider the next charges, that of the 2012 double slaying of a pair of Cape Verdean men outside a Boston nightclub, given the publicity around the trial that just ended in Fall River, Massachusetts, legal experts said.

“You’d have to have been in a cave not to have known about a months-long trial which contained a lot of salacious evidence of bad behavior on Hernandez’s part, including, at the end of the day, a murder,” said Thomas Peisch, a partner at the Boston law firm Conn Kavanaugh and a former federal prosecutor.

Hernandez’s trial in the 2012 slaying of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado had initially been set to begin on May 28, but will be rescheduled until a later date, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County prosecutor’s office.

 

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