Aaron Hernandez was born November 6, 1989. He’s 24-years-old and grew up in Bristol, Connecticut. It is said he and his father were very close; but when he was 16-years-old his father suddenly died. Hernandez though severely affected continued to play football for the Central High School Rams setting all sorts of records including the football player of the year; he went on to the University of Florida where he again achieved many honors for his play for the Gators; he skipped his senior year in Florida and was picked in 2010 in the 4th round of the draft by the Patriots. The jury will hear all about that.
It won’t hear that rumors of his marijuana use and drug test failures caused his stock to drop where the Patriots could pick him up on the cheap.
The Patriots’ owner often tells us what he likes to do for his team is to try “to collect a lot of good people.” Hernandez didn’t exactly fit into that concept and the team knew it. It cared little about the young kid it was bringing on board other than he might cause it embarrassment. It was reported: “The four-year contract Hernandez signed Tuesday is a complicated one that protects the team in case the off-field issues that have plagued the tight end crop up in his professional career.” (my emphasis) His contract gave him short money up front but a lot more down the road if he didn’t get into trouble.
I’m not much of an NFL fan. When I found watching a game turned into an ordeal of trying to avoid commercials and the sight of the team owners I decided that even though I enjoy watching football I had better things to do with my life. I then avoided almost all games although I sometimes would tune in to watch the Patriots. Yet I’d end up watching Turner Classical Movies which has no commercials. So to learn about Hernandez’s career, I reached out to Wikipedia.
The jury will learn he did well in 2010 when at 20-years-old he was the youngest player on an active NFL roster starting in 7 games; in 2011 he started 10 games and was an alternative to the Pro Bowl. In August of 2012 the Patriot’s gave him the highest signing bonus ever given to an NFL tight end with its owner saying: “I just think he’s a super player, and really a first-class guy.” But in 2012 he didn’t play much because of an ankle injury. But when he did he was very very good. In January 2013 he played his last NFL game in the AFC Championship, a game which the Patriot’s lost.
The jury in Bristol county where he stands indicted for Odin Llyod’s murder won’t hear that during the summer of 2012 it’s alleged that he gunned down two men in Boston because of a spilt drink. Nor will it hear that on February 13, 2013, he allegedly shot a guy named Alexander S. Bradley in the Miami, Florida area.
The jury in Sufolk county where he is indicted for the murders of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado won’t hear that on June 18, 2013, he was allegedly involved in the murder of Odin Llyod or about the Alexander S. Bradley shooting.
If all the allegations are true then Hernandez is one mighty bad guy. I’d suggest that there a few out there who would want to take him on in the environs he habituates off-season: 6’1”, 245 pounds, mightily tattooed, with at times a maniacal look. Anyone with the modicum of street smarts knows there are guys who you have to give a wide berth to – you know even the toughest guys I knew realized there are times when you walk (if not run) away.
There’s no question he is a tough as nails because of his play on the gridiron. One wonders why a guy with that type toughness who can go up and earn his bread against similar guys would have to shoot people. So will a jury wonder.
I’m not privy to any of the cases pending against Hernandez anymore than most people who have read about it in the media. I do know that the cases against him are going to be tried in the somewhat antiseptic atmosphere of a courtroom. If Hernandez being represented by the capable counsel he now has can get a jury that is not tainted, which will be difficult given all the publicity, I suggest that he may well be acquitted.
I say that for a few reasons. First, the scary Hernandez will not appear in the courtroom. The juror’s will see a mild mannered, friendly, smiling, courteous young man in a suit and tie with his tattooes well hidden. They’ll see the type of guy who convinced the Patriots he was a first-class guy worth millions.
They’ll also see, it defense attorneys are on the ball which I expect, some nice looking and well-dressed family members or friends sitting behind him offering their support. The jury will learn nothing about his alleged misconduct but only the well-earned honors he has received while still a very young man. To put it bluntly, the jury will like Hernandez in the same manner as a older OJ was loved by his jury.
Think of the problem the Suffolk County DA has. The alleged motive is a spilt drink – who is going to buy that? You might cry over spilt milk but no one murders two guys over a spilt drink.
Think of the problem of Bristol County DA. He’s got three guys at the murder scene and only one gun being fired. Who did it? Where’s the evidence it was a joint venture? If none, then the jury has to decide which of the three committed the crime – how will that be done? Plus the Bristol DA has a judge who may have an animus toward the prosecutor, I’m told he once asked her to recuse herself from another case. It is tough enough trying a high publicity case without having the judge all over your back.
Suppose he’s acquitted. Will he rejoin the NFL? Michael Vick who was convicted and served time did. According to the Wikipedia article noted above, everyone is trying to kill off past associations with Hernandez. But if he comes back carrying an exoneration do they have to reincarnate him? That in itself will be an interesting story. Do they put all his stuff back on display? Will he wear #81 for the Patriots again? If he does, will you cheer for him?