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Willie McGinest thinks Robert Kraft will pay Aaron Hernandez’s family his lost wages 05.12.17 at 9:24 am ET
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The Patriots might be obligated to pay Aaron Hernandez's estate $6 million. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

The Patriots might be obligated to pay Aaron Hernandez’s estate $6 million. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Now that Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction has been overturned, former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest thinks Robert Kraft is going to pay the disgraced ex-NFL star’s family the guaranteed money remaining on his contract.

Under Massachusetts law, a defendant’s convictions are void if he doesn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Judge Susan Garsh exonerated Hernandez Tuesday, because he was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction when he hanged himself in his cell last month.

With Hernandez now technically an innocent man, the Patriots may be forced to pay his estate roughly $6 million in the form of a $3.5 million signing bonus and $2.5 million in guaranteed salary.  In an interview with TMZ Sports, McGinest said he predicts Kraft will pony up the cash.

“Mr. Kraft is a little more sentimental towards the lives that are lost and not really the money,” he said. “At the end of the day, it affected two families. There’s a little girl with no father and there’s a family with no son. At the end of the day, the money is minute, because you’re talking about lives and a tragedy that happened. Mr. Kraft has a heart. At the end of the day, he understands that that little girl is probably never going to have the means or a father or somebody in her life. And if it’s the law, then he’s a law abiding citizen. You’ve got to follow the law.”

Even though Hernandez’s murder conviction is void, the Patriots will likely argue he was in breach of his contract. On WEEI’s OM&F earlier this week, sports law expert Daniel Wallach said it’s unlikely the Patriots will be forced to pay, because Hernandez wasn’t available to play football after he was arrested for the 2013 Odin Lloyd shooting.

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Judge vacates Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction 05.09.17 at 11:54 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez is now technically an innocent man.  (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez is now technically an innocent man. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

In the eyes of the law, Aaron Hernandez is now an innocent man.

Judge Susan Garsh, who sentenced the disgraced ex-NFL star to life in prison two years ago for the 2013 Odin Lloyd murder, abated the verdict Tuesday. Under Massachusetts law, a defendant’s convictions are void if he doesn’t exhaust all of his legal appeals upon his passing. Hernandez was in the process of appealing his first-degree murder conviction.

“Abatement is the law in this commonwealth and the court is required to follow that precedent,” Garsh said, via the Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern.

Prosecutors argued against the abatement, saying it would reward Hernandez for his suicide. They plan to appeal the ruling. Hernandez hanged himself in his cell April 20 at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. He was acquitted of double-murder charges five days prior.

Garsh’s decision to vacate Hernandez’s verdict could carry broad implications for his estate, which is currently worthless. Lloyd’s mother filed a wrongful-death suit against Hernandez, and the families of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the victims in the aforementioned double murder, are planning to do the same. The Patriots may now be obligated to pay Hernandez the $3.5 million signing bonus they voided after the Lloyd arrest. New England could also owe Hernandez an additional $2.5 million in guaranteed salary.

In the suicide note to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end wrote, “You’re Rich,” a possible reference to the money the Patriots may now be forced to pay his estate.

But in an interview with WEEI’s OM&F Tuesday, attorney Daniel Wallach said it’s unlikely the Patriots will pay Hernandez his lost wages, because he wasn’t available to play football after the Lloyd arrest.

Author’s note: This post was updated to add Daniel Wallach’s comments 

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Aaron Hernandez was sober when he hanged himself, officials say 05.04.17 at 5:48 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was sober when he hanged himself, according to state officials. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez was sober when he hanged himself, according to state officials. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez didn’t have any drugs in his system, including synthetic cannabinoids, when his body was found in his prison cell April 19 at Souza Baranowski Correction Center in Shirley, police say.

Worcester County officials released the full report on Hernandez’s suicide Thursday, detailing his physical state at the time of his death. The disgraced ex-NFL star was found naked at 3:00 a.m. with the biblical verse “John 3:16″ written in ink on his forehead and in a “substance consistent with blood” on the walls. There was also a cut on Hernandez’s finger and a “large circular blood mark on both of his feet.”

The report says Hernandez didn’t mention any intention to hang himself in the five phone calls he made before his suicide. The attorney for his allegedly close inmate friend, Kyle Kennedy, said at a press conference last week Hernandez had told his client he was “thinking about hanging it up” three weeks prior to his death, but the threat wasn’t taken seriously.

Officials also confirmed Hernandez wrote the three letters found next to his body. Two of them were for his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and four-year-old daughter, Avielle. The intended recipient of the third note is in dispute. Kennedy’s lawyer claims it belongs to his client, whereas Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, says it was addressed to him.

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Report: Aaron Hernandez did not have drugs in system at time of death, wrote ‘illuminati’ on wall of jail cell 04.29.17 at 4:10 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell. (Keith Bedford/Pool photo The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell. (Keith Bedford/Pool photo The Boston Globe)

More than a week after Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell, more information is coming out on the circumstances surrounding the death.

WCVB in Boston is reporting a number of details that have not been reported yet.

— Tests show there was no trace of “K2” or synthetic marijuana or any illegal drugs in Hernandez’s system at the time of his death on April 19.

— Hernandez also used his own blood to draw on the walls of his cell. One of the drawings was what’s known as the unfinished pyramid and the all-seeing eye of God. The image is similar to what is found on the back of U.S. currency. Below the pyramid Hernandez wrote “illuminati” in capital letters and above it he drew an oval with rays coming from the edges.

— The three letters found were were addressed to his fiancé, his daughter and his attorneys. It was previously reported the last letter was to a gay prison lover. Hernandez also wrote that he loved his family and told them not to shed a tear.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

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Aaron Hernandez doesn’t have any money left in his estate 04.27.17 at 1:23 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez's mansion in North Attleboro will likely be sold Friday. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez’s mansion in North Attleboro will likely be sold Friday. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez’s estate is now worth nothing.

The disgraced ex-NFL star’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, received authorization to close the sale of Hernandez’s nearly $1.3 million mansion in North Attleboro by Friday, the Boston Herald reports. Her attorney, George J. Leontire, filed an affidavit this week in Bristol Probate and Family Court. It says Jenkins Hernandez has received an offer to buy the home.

Proceeds from the sale of the 15-room, 7,100-square-foot house would be included in the wrongful-death suit filed against Hernandez’s estate by Odin Lloyd’s mother. In a press conference last week, her lawyer issued a friendly challenge towards the Patriots, asking them to voluntarily make payments to the family.

“We urge the New England Patriots to work with the player’s association to voluntarily make these payments of little consequence to the team, of tremendous assistance to these struggling, deserving families who are hurting, like Ursula’s,” he said, via WMUR. “That would be the best thing to do. That would be the right thing to do. And that would make the Patriots Ursula Ward’s champion.”

Hernandez didn’t leave a will and has no identifiable personal assets. He hanged himself last week at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, five days after he was acquitted in a double-murder trial.

The former Patriots tight end was serving a life sentence for the 2013 Lloyd shooting.

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Aaron Hernandez’s family to receive copies of suicide notes 04.24.17 at 1:53 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez's suicide notes have been released to his family. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Aaron Hernandez’s suicide notes have been released to his family. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

A Bristol Superior Court judge ordered copies of the suicide notes of Aaron Hernandez to be released to his family after attorney George Leontire filed a motion Monday morning for the family to “know their loved one’s final thoughts” prior to his funeral Monday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, via the Boston Globe, Leontire said having access to copies of the notes is a “necessary as part of the grieving process.”

Leontire wrote to the court, “the family has the right, during this grieving process, to know their loved one’s final thoughts” and that Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez had legal standing to demand them as the personal representative of his estate.

The notes reportedly were written to Jenkins Hernandez and their four-year-old daughter. There was a third note, which reportedly was written to his gay prison lover.

Hernandez’s private funeral is being held Monday afternoon in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.

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Aaron Hernandez jurors didn’t know about Odin Lloyd murder conviction at 10:19 am ET
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Aaron Hernandez's death was ruled a suicide last week. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

Aaron Hernandez’s death was ruled a suicide last week. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe)

When following the Aaron Hernandez double-murder trial, it was impossible to not consider the life sentence the disgraced ex-NFL star was already serving for the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd. But multiple members of the jury were unaware of his violent past.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, jury forewoman Lindsey Stringer said she only learned about the Lloyd conviction in an informal post-trial conversation with Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. LockeA technology director in her mid-30s who relocated to Boston four years ago, she was “vaguely aware” of Hernandez, but couldn’t place him. Jurors are prohibited from reading media coverage about their case or talking about their work.

“Jurors are basically living two different lives,” Stringer told the Globe. “There’s your life at the courthouse, where you’re under intense scrutiny from everyone all the time while you’re there, and then you go home to your regular life and you can’t talk about anything. ‘How was your day?’ ‘Umm . . . fine.’ ”

When the trial ended, Stringer found out several of her peers didn’t know about Hernandez’s first-degree murder conviction, either. It’s likely Hernandez’s attorneys didn’t want those with strong feelings against their client to serve on the jury, which would explain why many jurors were ignorant of his criminal record. The selection process to sit on the jury consisted of a 52-question survey, which asked respondents what they thought of people with tattoos or folks who frequent night clubs.

The prosecution’s case largely rested on Alexander Bradley, a flawed witness who’s serving a prison sentence for shooting up a club in Hartford. Bradley claims Hernandez shot him in the eye during an altercation in February 2013 –– seven months after Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were murdered in Boston.

Stringer, who stresses the jury didn’t declare Hernandez was “innocent,” said it was difficult to believe Bradley’s version of events. The prosecution offered him immunity to testify against Hernandez, and there were several inconsistencies in his story.

“Then and now, it’s very difficult to sort through what the actual truth is of the matter,” she said. “I’m a person who might be really naive, but I really wanted to believe that every person coming through that courtroom as a witness was telling the truth. … And I don’t think that was the case for several witnesses. But I’ll never know.”

The defense repeatedly attacked Bradley’s character, saying he was the one who pulled the trigger in the drive-by shooting. The case appeared to resonate with members of the jury, who couldn’t agree on Hernandez’s level of involvement.

After the trial concluded, Stringer started to sift through the press coverage she was ordered to avoid. She hoped Hernandez would become a steady presence in his four-year-old daughter’s life, even if he remained behind bars. But those wishes were halted last week when she read about Hernandez’s suicide at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.

“It’s just very sad and tragic, and I really just pray for the Furtado and de Abreu families and for Aaron’s daughter,” she said.

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