After a lengthy trial, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting death of former semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel announced the verdict, while ESPN's Michele Steele provided details from the courtroom:
Roland Martin of TV One passed along Hernandez's reaction to the verdict:
Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated reported that Hernandez was officially sentenced to life in prison for the murder charge and three-and-a-half years for the weapons charge:
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post noted that it is a 3.7-mile drive to Gillette Stadium from MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole, where Hernandez will serve his sentence.
Per Fox Sports, Hernandez and two associates were believed to be involved in the June 17, 2013, murder of Lloyd in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
Hernandez was arrested on June 26, 2013, and he had been held without bail ever since. With the guilty verdict coming down, that won't change unless the defense's appeal is successful.
As Steele pointed out, the appeals process is automatic in Massachusetts:
Hernandez maintained his innocence throughout the trial, but the jury ultimately decided there was enough evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Following the announcement of the guilty verdict, the jury spoke in a group, refusing to answer if they thought Hernandez was the man who fired the gun that killed Lloyd and saying they were shocked the defense team admitted he was at the crime scene, via Lisa Kraus Edwards and the Boston Globe.
The 25-year-old Bristol, Connecticut, native's defense team didn't seem to think that was the case based on its lack of witnesses, according to Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated:
Hernandez's defense confirmed that belief when it filed a motion asking the court to find Hernandez not guilty, again via Steele:
In addition to entering his not-guilty plea, Hernandez proclaimed his innocence to those close to him. That included Patriots owner Robert Kraft, as reported by ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus:
Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, also revealed that Hernandez denied responsibility for Lloyd's death:
Jenkins was a key witness for the prosecution because of her involvement with Hernandez and also because of the claim she may have gotten rid of the murder weapon.
Per Steele, the prosecution believed Hernandez sent Jenkins a coded message, leading to the disposal of a gun:
Despite Hernandez's defense team's insistence that the prosecution did not do enough to prove guilt, the jury felt differently.
Also, Hernandez is still facing double-murder charges in Boston for the 2012 deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, per Ben Volin of The Boston Globe:
While this verdict brings some semblance of closure to the case, there is a long road ahead before it reaches its true conclusion.
As things currently stand, though, Hernandez is set to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.