In a stunning reversal of fortune for Aaron Hernandez, who once sprinted into end zones as a New England Patriots tight end, a jury in Fall River, Ma., found him guilty today of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a friend who had angered him, the Boston Globe reports. He faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Hernandez was convicted of the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd of Boston. The jury took seven days to render its decision, citing the case’s “extreme atrocity or cruelty.”
Hernandez, 25, and two accomplices picked up Lloyd, 27, a landscaper who played semiprofessional football, at his home on the pretext that they would party together. Instead they drove to an industrial park near the football player's spacious home, where Hernandez shot Lloyd several times with a .45-caliber Glock pistol, including two kill shots to Lloyd's chest as he writhed in pain on the ground. The millionaire player, who was heading into his fourth season with the Patriots, had summoned associates Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz to help him murder Lloyd, prosecutors said. Wallace and Ortiz face separate trials for first-degree murder. Surveillance footage from Hernandez's home security system formed a key part of the prosecution's case.