(SP) – Former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez was found innocent today in the hanging of former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez. The verdict of innocence marks the second time in a matter of weeks Hernandez has escaped guilty verdicts, surprising most legal experts.
Hernandez, who was serving life in prison for the murder of his fiance’s brother-in-law, was found dead in his single occupant cell last month. But prison officials could not present any eyewitnesses in the hanging and Hernandez was not cooperative in the investigation.
“The evidence did not prove Aaron Hernandez killed Aaron Hernandez beyond a reasonable doubt,” said one juror who was one of 10 jurors who wore Aaron Hernandez jerseys during the trial. “For example, he had John 3:16 written on his head. Who is this John? Was he involved? The prosecutors never addressed that at all. There were just too many unanswered questions for me.”
Due to Hernandez’s death, under Massachusetts law he is also cleared of the murder of Odin Lloyd because the appeals process was not exhausted, meaning Hernandez dies an innocent man.
“I will admit I judged Aaron too quickly,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “It turns out he was innocent. He deserves to be in the Patriots Hall of Fame and I will make sure that happens.”