The judge who presided at the trial of Aaron Hernandez’s in semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd’s killing, has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday to hear arguments by lawyers for former NFL star Aaron Hernandez to erase his conviction in the 2013 murder.
Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, hanged himself in his prison cell on April 19 while serving a life sentence for the killing of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez’s attorneys have made their request based upon a long-standing legal principle in Massachusetts that when defendants die before their direct appeal is decided, their convictions should be vacated.
His attorneys argue that his conviction in the Lloyd case is not considered final because the automatic appeal he was entitled to had not been heard at the time of his death.
Hernandez committed suicide on April 19, 2017, just five days after he was acquitted of the 2012 Boston double homicide of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28.
Correction officers found Hernandez hanging by his bedsheets from his window in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
Prosecutors argue that dismissing his murder conviction would reward his “conscious, deliberate and voluntary” act of taking his own life.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III argued in a court filing, that a defendant’s death while an appeal is pending does not always require what is known as “abatement,” including when “a defendant’s death is a result of his own conscious, deliberate and voluntary act.”