The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By PNT Staff 

Hernandez verdict affects others


April 15, 2015

Derek Major PNT staff writer

link Derek Major

PNT staff writer

It took seven long days for the verdict to happen, but the family of Odin Lloyd finally has their justice.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of the murder of Lloyd and a host of other charges in connection. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After the verdict was read, there was a host of emotions in the courtroom. Hernandez sat down almost immediately in the courtroom, likely wondering how he went from scoring touchdowns and a $40 million contract to spending the rest of his life in a jail uniform.

Behind Hernandez, mother Terri and girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins cried tears of pain knowing they would never see Aaron as a free man again. On the other side of the courtroom Lloyd’s mom Ursula Ward cried tears of joy, knowing that her ordeal is over and she can finally move on. But this isn’t just about one man being murdered.

While Hernandez will forever have to deal with the decision he made that night and what his life could’ve been instead, his girlfriend will have to try to put her life back together and find a way to tell her son that he’ll only see his father in the walls of a prison. She also has to try to mend her relationship with her sister Shaneah Jenkins — Lloyd’s girlfriend, who sat with Ward during the trial.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft will always know his testimony played a key role in the conviction, and always wonder how he was fooled by a man he said was always polite and frequently thanked him for using a draft pick on him. In addition, the Patriots will have to tread carefully the next time they eye a player with a checkered past, as NFL writers and analysts won’t let them forget the consequences of Hernandez. The ordeal isn’t over for Hernandez.

He’s appealing the verdict, and must appear in court later this year to deal with unrelated accusations he played a role in a drive-by shooting that claimed two lives. Every decision we make affects those around us and Hernandez’ decisions have torn apart two families.

Now he gets to spend the rest of his life thinking about that while the NFL, and the world moves on.

Derek Major covers sports for the Portales News-Tribune.


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