The New England Patriots have maintained all along that they had no knowledge of any of the criminal activity Aaron Hernandez was involved in while the late former NFL tight end was with them, but lawyers are still calling for the team to pay damages.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Hernandez’s estate said in court Tuesday that the Patriots should step up and compensate the family members of the victims.
“We would welcome the Patriots looking into that issue and doing the right thing, which is to compensate the victims,” Kenneth Kolpan, a lawyer for the family of Daniel de Abreu, said according to the Boston Globe.
Along with Safiro Furtado, de Abreu was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. Hernandez was charged with the murders but acquitted just days before he hung himself in his prison cell.
While Hernandez was not convicted of the murders, the families of the victims are still suing his estate. William Kennedy, a lawyer for Furtado’s family, told reporters on Tuesday that the Patriots could help “make amends” by compensating his clients.
“I think they’re in a position to do that,” Kennedy said. “That would be welcome.”
A lawyer for Odin Lloyd, a man whom Hernandez was convicted of killing but later had the conviction overturned because of an outdated legal principle in Massachusetts, has also called for the Patriots to pay damages.
It’s highly unlikely that the Patriots will end up writing any checks. The families of the victims aren’t the only ones seeking money from the team, but voluntarily paying would come across as admitting some sort of responsibility. That is not going to happen.
Aaron Hernandez is an innocent man as far as the state of Massachusetts is concerned, but the district attorney who prosecuted the former NFL tight end in the Odin Lloyd murder trial is still working to have that changed.
According to CBS Boston, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III has filed an appeal asking a Supreme Court judge to reinstate Hernandez’s murder conviction after it was vacated because of an “archaic rule.”
“This is an archaic rule not based on the Constitution, and it should be changed,” Quinn wrote in the appeal. “A defendant who commits suicide should not be able to manipulate the outcome of his post-conviction proceedings to achieve in death what he would not be able to achieve in life. We are asking the Supreme Judicial Court to address this antiquated rule, which does not serve the public interest.”
Hernandez was convicted of murdering Lloyd in 2013 and sentenced to life in prison in 2015. He was also charged with double-murder stemming from a 2012 incident outside a Boston nightclub, but he was acquitted in April. Less than a week later, Hernandez hung himself inside his prison cell.
One popular theory is that Hernandez killed himself to protect his estate and assure his fiancee and daughter a more secure future. You can read more about that here.
Even if the legal principle that resulted in Hernandez’s conviction being overturned is outdated and “archaic,” it still applied at the time of his death. The decision will likely stand even if the law is changed at some point.
An inmate who is being housed at the same correctional facility where Aaron Hernandez committed suicide is convinced the former NFL star wrote a suicide note to him, and he wants police to deliver it to its rightful owner.
In a statement he released to Radar Online, Kyle Kennedy claimed he had a “close relationship” with Hernandez.
“I want to be clear that at no time have I seen a note addressed to me from my close friend Aaron Hernandez but I have reason to believe it was in fact intended for me,” Kennedy said. “It was the press that first reported that this letter was sent to me and as a result, my attorney, Larry Army Jr., has repeatedly requested a copy for us to review.”
Previous reports claimed Kennedy has Hernandez’s lover and that Hernandez left behind an expensive watch for his fellow inmate as a gift. Kennedy mentioned the watch and said he will address the rumors about his personal life in the future.
“The story about who this letter was sent to has changed several times, but based upon the close relationship that I had with Aaron, it is highly likely that it was in fact intended for me,” he told Radar. “I again renew my request to have the letter released to my attorney so we can put this issue to rest.
“In addition, my attorney has spoken at length about the watch that Aaron told me he was leaving to me as a gift. I have no further comment on that issue at this time. There has been a lot said about me and my personal life in recent weeks, some of it accurate and some of it not. I remain incarcerated at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley but at the appropriate time, I will address these issues and set the record straight.”
It’s unclear if the timing was a coincidence, but Kennedy’s statement came not long after an interview aired in which Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, addressed the reports about Aaron being gay.
Jenkins-Hernandez said her fiancee wrote three notes — one to her, one to the couple’s 4-year-old daughter, and one to Hernandez’s legal team.
A previous report claimed Hernandez’s sexual preference was part of the investigation into the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the fiancee of the late Aaron Hernandez, says there is no truth to the rumors about Hernandez being gay.
Jenkins-Hernandez, who took Aaron’s last name after he was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd, opened up in a lengthy interview with “Dr. Phil” that aired this week. When asked about reports that Hernandez wrote one of his three suicide notes to a fellow inmate named Kyle Kennedy, Jenkins-Hernandez said she has never heard of Kennedy.
“I don’t know who this Kyle Kennedy is. I’ve never heard of him, honestly. Aaron has never mentioned him,” she said, according to Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports. “And Aaron liked to be in a single cell, from my knowledge.”
Hernandez’s defense team has said the alleged letter to Kennedy is “nonexistent.” There were reports that Hernandez and Kennedy had asked to be cell mates and that Hernandez gifted Kennedy a $50,000 watch. Jenkins-Hernandez referred to all of that as a “crock of bull.”
“I had no indication or any feeling that he was (gay),” Jenkins-Hernandez said. “He was very much a man to me. I don’t know where this came from. It’s embarrassing, in a sense. It’s hurtful, regardless if it’s true or not. It’s just not something that I saw. It’s not something that I believe. It’s just not him.”
The rumors linking Hernandez to Kennedy appear to be more than just speculation. Kennedy’s own attorneys have claimed Hernandez wrote a letter to their client, and they have requested that the note be turned over.
One lengthy report shed a lot more light on Hernandez’s sexual preference and life in prison, but the ex-New England Patriot’s fiancee insists there is no truth to any of it.
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the fiancee of Aaron Hernandez, is still not convinced that the former NFL star took his own life in prison last month.
In an interview with “Dr. Phil” that is set to air in full next week, Jenkins-Hernandez told host Phil McGraw that she has no reason to believe Aaron committed suicide.
“I spoke to him the night before and he was so, ‘Daddy’s gonna be home and I can’t wait to sleep in the bed with you guys and I can’t wait to just hold you and love you,'” Jenkins-Hernandez said, according to a teaser that was shown on Friday morning’s edition of TODAY. “… I just know that the feedback I was getting from our last talk had nothing to do with any suicidal thoughts.”
All of the evidence points to a suicide, as Hernandez reportedly tried to barricade the door from the inside so no one could get in. He is also said to have put soap on the floor of his jail cell in case he had second thoughts. Not to mention, the ex-New England Patriot wrote three letters, one of which was to Jenkins-Hernandez.
Still, the mother of Hernandez’s 4-year-old daughter cannot be swayed.
“She does not believe that he killed himself, surprisingly, because the evidence is pretty overwhelming,” McGraw told TODAY, adding that there was no “monumental goodbye” or “finality” in the last conversation Jenkins-Hernandez had with Aaron.
Immediately after Hernandez killed himself, a popular theory began circulating about how he may have been trying to protect his estate and assure his fiancee and daughter more financial security. Jenkins-Hernandez said she does not subscribe to that and actually fears more financial trouble in the future. However, the attorney representing the Hernandez family recently hinted that he has other plans.
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the fiancee of Aaron Hernandez, was completely blindsided to learn that the former NFL star took his own life last month.
In a two-part interview with “Dr. Phil” that is set to air next week, host Phil McGraw spoke with Jenkins-Hernandez about Aaron’s seemingly sudden death and whether or not he was financially motivated to commit suicide. A teaser for the interview revealed that McGraw asked Jenkins-Hernandez outright if Aaron killed himself “so you could collect $6.5 million” from the New England Patriots.
We can probably guess how Jenkins-Hernandez responded to that, but the preview did show her response to a question about whether she had any indication Hernandez might kill himself.
“I thought it was a hoax, that this was some cruel person playing a trick on me,” Jenkins-Hernandez said of receiving the phone call that Aaron had committed suicide. “I felt like we were looking so bright. We were going up a ladder to a positive direction.”
The timing of Hernandez’s death was shocking, as he was just days removed from being acquitted of a 2012 double murder in Boston. One of the most popular theories is that Hernandez knew his original conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd would be overturned if he died (which it was on Tuesday), thus making it easier to protect his financial estate.
Jenkins-Hernandez, who took Aaron’s last name after he was found guilty of murdering Lloyd, could seek money from the Patriots and the NFL now that Hernandez’s conviction has been erased. The attorney representing Hernandez’s family has already hinted that that is a possibility.
With a judge having ruled on Tuesday to erase Aaron Hernandez’s 2015 conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd, there has already been talk that both the NFL and the New England Patriots could owe the ex-tight end’s family a lot of money.
According to Jose Baez, the attorney representing Hernandez’s estate, that is a possibility. While he did not go into specifics, Baez told TMZ that there have been discussions about Hernandez’s pension and some money the Patriots never paid him.
“How the NFL treats him from this point forward remains to be seen,” Baez said. “We’re in discussions with his agents to see where he stands. They’re better equipped as it relates to the Players’ Association and things like that.”
Baez added that he believes Hernandez would have been entitled to his pension even if the Lloyd conviction stood.
“I’m not really certain this makes a difference,” he said. “My understanding is if he had a pension that this would not have disqualified him from that.”
The Patriots may be in a better position than the league, as they settled a grievance filed by Hernandez back in 2014. One legal expert told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe recently that settlements of that nature typically include “catch-all language” that would prevent the team from being involved with any financial issues relating to Hernandez going forward.
However, the Patriots could also hear from Lloyd’s family. The lawyer who represents the victim’s family said last month that Robert Kraft should offer to pay some of the damages.
As it stands right now, Hernandez died an innocent man due to a Massachusetts legal principle. There was one very interesting theory about his suicide (read it here) that may explain a lot, and it appears that theory is not going away anytime soon.