The New Life of Aaron Hernandez


Although he has been convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison without parole, Aaron Hernandez will not soon fade from the public eye a la Rae Carruth, the Carolina Panthers wide receiver convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in 2001. The newly-convicted murderer, 25, now faces the possibility of defending himself in another murder trial and two civil suits, all while being locked inside what is now his new life.

Despite being sentenced to prison for the rest of his life for killing Lloyd, Hernandez now must face charges for the July 2012 murders of two men and the wounding of another in Boston. According to prosecutors, Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu were murdered by the former tight end for the New England Patriots while they sat at a red light. A passenger was injured and two other men escaped harm when Hernandez allegedly fired a gun into the 2003 BMW – a charge to which he pleaded not guilty when arraigned.

As of Wednesday, the trial, originally scheduled to begin May 28, had been p0stponed. Spokesman Jake Wark of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said that another date had not been set.

After the families of Furtado and de Abreu filed civil lawsuits against Hernandez, his assets, totaling $5 million, were frozen until the outcome of the criminal trial is decided. The assets frozen include a $3.3 million signing bonus which Hernandez claims is owed to him from the New England Patriots.

Another pending civil lawsuit against Hernandez was filed by Alexander Bradley, who alleges to have been shot by the ex-Pro Bowler in February 2013 after they got into an altercation while at a strip club in Miami. Bradley claims that after the fight, the two men were in a limousine when Hernandez shot him with an unlicensed gun. Although no criminal charges were filed, a civil lawsuit was filed four months after the alleged incident. Attorneys for the disgraced NFL player argued against the civil case moving forward while their client was in Massachusetts standing trial and therefore unable to defend himself.

Two organizations are now forced to argue on behalf of a convicted murderer. The NFL players union have filed a grievance on his behalf over a contract, potentially worth over $40 million, which he signed in 2012. Should the NFL decide to consider the matter, the NFL Player’s Association will be in the distasteful position of having to represent Hernandez.

While all of the wheels are churning for and against him outside the confines of MCI Cedar Junction, the maximum-security prison to which he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life, Hernandez will be locked inside of his cell, living his new life far removed from his days as a star tight end on a successful NFL team.

Upon his arrival, the newly-sentenced prisoner will be booked into the prison’s system. He will be supplied with stiff, gray-colored scrubs, slip-on canvas shoes and a paper bag. Inside of the former club-goer’s bag will be multiple pairs of underwear, a dull razor and a pen designed to prevent its use as a weapon. What he comes in with and what he is clothed in will be taken away and either sent to his home or destroyed.

Although once a highly-skilled tight end, Hernandez will have to learn a new life skill. Prisoners at MCI Cedar Junction make license plates, and do so for a starting wage of 50 cents per hour. The former strip club habitué will also be banned from possessing any pictures of naked women.

Located in Walpole, Mass., the prison is just 3.4 miles from Gillette Stadium, where his former team, the Patriots, plays their home games. Some people on Twitter have already tweeted that Hernandez will be able to hear the sounds of the games and the cheers of the fans, which, in his new life, will never again be meant for him.

By Jennifer Pfalz

Washington Post

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