Two years and one month after former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of murdering Odin Lloyd, a judge threw out his conviction, citing the Massachusetts legal doctrine of abatement ab initio as binding precedent. Judge E. Susan Garsh explained:
“Abatement has been practiced in federal and state courts for more than a century.”
She added that the fact that Hernandez died of a suspected suicide did not sway her decision:
“This court cannot know why Aaron Hernandez chose to end his life... a tragic act that may have complex and myriad causes.”
Hernandez had been found hanging in his cell five days after being acquitted of two 2012 murders and subsequently announcing that he would continue appealing his first murder conviction.
The news of Hernandez's death not only shocked the nation, but Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, his fiancée and the mother of his daughter, as well.
In fact, Jenkins-Hernandez was so taken aback by the news of his death that, as she told Dr. Phil in an exclusive interview, she believed it was a “hoax.”