Aaron Hernandez gained All-American honors while he was at the University of Florida as a skilled football player. He was able to make a name for himself as an excellent NFL tight end for the New England Patriots. Nonetheless, all his talent would go to waste in the year 2013, when he was arrested and charged with the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, who was a semi-pro football player. He was also accused of being linked with two murders associated with a drive-by shooting. In April 2015, he was finally convicted for the killing of Lloyd. He was also found to have committed suicide some days after he was proclaimed guilty of the 2012 murder charges.
Aaron Josef Hernandez was born in Bristol, Connecticut, on November 6, 1989. He was a basketball player for Bristol Central High School; he also played for an AAU team that was headed by Geno Auriemma, the coach of the University of Connecticut’s women. He came to be a star tight end at the University of Florida. While he was a solid blocker thanks to his height and weight, he also had the soft hands and swiftness of a wide receiver. Regardless of Hernandez’s evident talent, most NFL teams were cautious of enlisting him because of his confession to failing a drug test. Also, various teams were concerned about his involvement with gang types from his neighborhood.
At the start of the NFL 2010 season, Hernandez, who was the youngest player showed he could excel at the highest level of the game straightaway. Hernandez recorded a whopping 45 catches, which is a team rookie record. He also helped the Patriots set an outstanding 14-2 record on the way to an AFC Championship berth. The next year, he formed a team with Rob Gronkowski to lead an overpowering New England offense. The two of them got a total of 24 touchdowns with 2,237 regular-season receiving yards but later succumbed to a defeat in Super Bowl XLVI, where they lost to the New York Giants. In 2012, Hernandez got a 5-year contract extension. He suffered an ankle injury during the next season, which slowed him down. He also had to step up for the team due to the health problems that Gronkowski faced and the exit of Wes Walker, their receiver.
Murder of Odin Lloyd
June 17, 2013, was the day Odin Lloyd was found lying dead in an industrial park, which is only a mile away from Aaron Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. The police force was able to trace back all the evidence gathered to Hernandez, who further made the situation worse by trashing his mobile phone and the surveillance footage in his house. Odin Lloyd was in a relationship with Shaneah Jenkins, while Hernandez was in a relationship with her sister, Shayanna Jenkins. Hernandez was placed under arrest on June 26 and charged with first-degree murder and the breach of the firearms law. He was released about two hours later by the Patriots. Some other companies also withdrew their endorsement deals with him. The prosecution supplied details for the evidence and motive. It was discovered that Hernandez was offended because he saw Lloyd having a conversation with his rivals in a Boston nightclub when they had an evening out. So, Hernandez and a couple of friends rented a Nissan Altima, which was used to drive Lloyd around before they eventually put multiple bullets into him; this happened at about 3:30 am on June 17. The surveillance footage that was gotten from the industrial park confirmed the presence of the Nissan Altima at the time the shooting took place. The surveillance footage retrieved from Hernandez’s house caught him coming in with a gun some moments later. All the evidence pointed to Hernandez as the .45 caliber casings that were used to murder Odin were seen in the Nissan Altima, and at a condo Hernandez had. Also, he had other accusations against him resurface. One of which was the involvement in a drive-by shooting. Hernandez was poised for an illustrious NFL career, but he was now facing the probability of a life sentence.
Hernandez was linked to a drive-by shooting in Boston that took place in 2012, so charges were pressed against him in May 2014. Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado were the two men that were killed in this unpleasant incident; all these took place about a week before Hernandez started his training sessions with the New England Patriots. It was reported that Daniel and Safiro were seen in the exact Boston nightclub as Hernandez; it was suspected that Hernandez went after them and then proceeded to shoot them at a traffic light. So, a couple of charges were pressed against Hernandez with the two-counts of first-degree murder being one of them.
Verdicts and Suicide
January 2015 was the time Hernandez was to face trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd, which would go on for about two months. Hernandez was declared guilty of first-degree murder on April 15, which was a decision made by the jury after they had thought about it for six days. Hernandez was given a life sentence without the option of parole for the crime he committed; this was because of the Massachusetts law. Only some days after Hernandez was found not guilty of the drive-by shooting of Abreu and Furtado, he committed suicide.
It was discovered that at the time of his death, Hernandez was battling with a severe case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is a degenerative brain disease. This is a disease that is common to most athletes that partake in high-impact sports. The Doctors that examined Hernandez revealed that this was the most critical form of the disease that has been seen in a 27-year old.
Hernandez was well placed to be a very big star, but all that faded away when he got linked with murder cases and was also found guilty in the Odin Lloyd case.