Mom of murder victim says Hernandez still guilty

Aaron Hernandez

Prosecutors say they will appeal a ruling erasing former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez's conviction in a 2013 murder because he died before his appeal was heard.

A judge in MA officially dismissed Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction on Tuesday morning.

"A defendant, who can cut off his own criminal appeal by suicide and stall civil litigation by a stay of proceedings. has the reins of the entire justice system in his own hands", prosecutors wrote.

But Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn criticized the "antiquated" practice of abatement, especially when an inmate commits suicide while his conviction is under appeal.

In an emotional statement, the mother of the man Aaron Hernandez was once convicted of killing said her faith was the reason she was not angered by Fall River Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh's decision to vacate that conviction Tuesday. He cited a report issued last week from the Department of Correction that said Hernandez told another inmate he had heard a "rumor" that if an inmate has an open appeal on his case and dies in prison, he will be acquitted. She also said a "possible mental disturbance" was reflected in a suicide note to his fiancee in which he said his death was "the Supremes, the almightys plan, not mine".

"I know everyone is looking for me to be angry, but I'm not", Ursula Ward said. "Also, even though Hernandez was not convicted of murdering de Abreu and Furtado, some of the evidence from that prosecution would be admissible in a civil trial if abatement does not occur".

Hernandez killed himself last month inside his prison cell five days after he was acquitted in a 2012 double murder. He was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Ward said Tuesday: "In our book, he's guilty, and he's always going to be guilty".

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John Thompson first raised a question about the official manner of death during a court hearing Tuesday. If, as prosecutors demand, abatement is denied, Hernandez's conviction in murdering Lloyd would make it almost certain for Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, to prevail.

But prosecutors argued that abating Hernandez's conviction would "reward the defendant's conscious, deliberate and voluntary act" of killing himself and that the abatement rule has no solid historical or legal basis.

Now that the conviction has been wiped from his record, Hernandez's family could file a lawsuit against the National Football League and the New England Patriots for voiding his contract following his arrest.

Hernandez's lead attorney in the double murder trial, Jose Baez, has pledged to independently investigate the death.

A MA judge has agreed to erase Aaron Hernandez's conviction in a 2013 murder because he died before his appeal could be heard.

A prosecutor has urged a judge to reject a request from lawyers for ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez to erase his conviction in a 2013 murder under a legal doctrine that calls for vacating convictions when a defendant dies before an appeal can be heard.

"He should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not have accomplished in life".

Abatement has generally been recognized in MA even in high-profile cases of suicide.

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