Boston Sports Day

Aaron Hernandez Murder Charge Delivers Devastating Blow To Patriots Fans

While sports fans might be somewhat immune to their favorite pro athletes getting arrested, nobody was prepared for the news that the (now former) New England Patriot’s star tight end was being charged with murder.

We’ve witnessed some questionable behavior from celebrity NFL players throughout the years. When one of our favorite athletes is arrested, the typical reaction from the public is to snicker at their mug shot, and poke fun at their comically bad decisions. However, first-degree murder is no laughing matter.

The Victim

Hernandez is accused of murdering 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose body was found abandoned in an industrial park about a mile from the Patriots tight end’s home. Apparently the two had an altercation at a nightclub earlier that evening.

The case took a confusing turn when it was revealed that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. According to Lloyd’s relatives, the two men were close friends who were simply out partying when something at the club went horribly wrong, and Lloyd’s life abruptly came to an end.

Lloyd died later that night from multiple gunshot wounds to his back and chest after a disagreement with Hernandez that took place at the club they went to. Details of their argument remain unclear, but what is known is that Hernandez was also charged with several crimes for the firearm he possessed (one count of carrying a firearm without a license, two counts of possessing a large-capacity firearm and two counts of possessing a firearm without an FID card). The state of Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun legislation in the country, and the firearm charges alone could land Hernandez behind bars.

What The Future Holds

If convicted, Hernandez could be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He is currently awaiting trial at Bristol County House of Correction and Jail in North Dartmouth, Mass. Despite the evidence against him, Hernandez’s defense team remains confident. According to ESPN.go, his attorney, Michael Fee, said, “It is at bottom a circumstantial case. It is not a strong case.” The strength of the state’s case will be tested when Hernandez appears for his probable cause hearing later this month.

Regardless or whether or not the state can secure a conviction, Hernandez’s time with the Patriots (and the NFL) is certainly over.

A Growing Trend In Massachusetts?

While most types of crime have been declining in the state of Massachusetts, the state has seen an upswing in the number of reported murders each year. According to crime data provided by Instant Checkmate’s Massachusetts criminal record database, Massachusetts had 76 murders in 2009. But in 2011, that number jumped up to 90.

Many blame the increase in murder and violent crimes on the state’s tough stance with regard to gun control. In 1998, Massachusetts passed the strictest gun control legislation in the country. Since then, legal gun ownership has plummeted, while gun crime continues to skyrocket. Regardless of why the state is seeing this increase in crime, the citizens of this state seem to just want to feel safe again. One columnist for The Boston Globe simply writes that, “Clearly something bad happened to Massachusetts 15 years ago.”

I don’t envy the parents who must now explain to their children why their favorite Patriots player has vanished off the field. According to Buzzfeed, the The New England Patriots ProShop is doing their part to help out scorned moms and dads who just plopped down $100 for a Hernandez jersey. The shop is offering a free jersey exchange of any #81 Hernandez jersey purchased at the Patriots ProShop or online at PatriotsProShop.com for a new Patriots jersey of equal value.

At least it’s something.

 

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