By Shaynah Ferreira 04-16-15
Former Patriots’ player Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Odin Lloyd. Judge Susan Farsh sentenced the former wide receiver to what she stated as “a term of your natural life without the possibility of parole.” This sent shock waves throughout the courtroom, resulting in an emotional response from Odin Lloyd’s family and a stoic look from a former athlete who once was playing on a $40 million dollar NFL contract and facing the reality of the rest of life behind bars. Several victim impact statements were released after sentencing, officially ending the Hernandez trial.
One such victim impact statement came from Odin Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, who emotionally thanked the prosecutors for their work and stepped up to the podium to also thank people from around the world who sent flowers, cards and unwavering support for her and her family. She said, “I forgive the hands of the people who had a hand in my son’s murder either before or after and i hope that some day everyone out there will forgive them also. may god continue to bless us. Thank you.”
The victim’s family later spoke outside of the court house where Odin Lloyd’s sister, Olivia Thibou, held onto her mother’s arm for support and told reporters that the prosecutors for the murder of her brother Odin were her “dream team”.
District Attorney Thomas Quinn said “the jury found that Hernandez was just a man that committed a brutal murder. The fact that he was a professional athlete meant nothing.” Attorneys representing Hernandez left the courthouse without commentary.
Massachusetts State Police Colonel, Timothy Alben released a statement congratulating the Bristol district attorney’s office in what he called “a masterful prosecution strategy.”
Here is the full official statement:
“I want to congratulate District Attorney Quinn and particularly Assistant DA Bill McCauley on today’s guilty verdicts in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial. Working with our detectives assigned to the Bristol DA’s office and the North Attleboro PD, this team worked relentlessly in putting together a masterful prosecution strategy and presenting the commonwealth’s evidence that resulted in today’s verdict. The citizens of Bristol county and this commonwealth can take great pride and satisfaction in knowing that justice has been served in this case and that no one is above the law.”
-Colonel Timothy P. Alben