BOSTON (CBS) – Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found not guilty of murder and several other charges related to the 2012 killing of two men in Boston’s South End. WBZ-TV’s Liam Martin spoke with Legal Analyst Jennifer Roman about the verdict.
Martin: You’re a former prosecutor. What went wrong here for the state?
Roman: The state’s problem was that they relied on Alexander Bradley who was a convicted drug dealer. He got a sweet deal from the prosecution and got immunity to testify. So whenever the prosecution is basing its case on one single person’s testimony which is what they did here and that person has some significant and serious credibility issues, the prosecution is gonna be in trouble.
Martin: And the jury in fact asked the judge a question. They said can we convict Hernandez based only on Alexander Bradley’s testimony or do we need some corroborating evidence? Judge Locke answered, he seemed to answer “you need some corroborating evidence.” Did he get that wrong in his instruction to the jury?
Roman: I think Judge Locke was really trying to be neutral in his instruction which is his job but he may have gone a little askew here…cause it did seem like the jury was asking for permission to rely on Alexander Bradley’s testimony to convict him and really what it comes down to is they don’t need corroborating evidence, they need to find beyond a reasonable doubt that there was sufficient evidence and they could have found beyond a reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence if they fully credited the testimony of Alexander Bradley.
Martin: Based solely on Alexander Bradley they could have. I think the question everyone wants to know right now. Hernandez is in prison for life on the murder of Odin Lloyd. Will this acquittal affect his appeal in that case?
Roman: This acquittal will not affect his appeal in the Odin Lloyd case at all. It’ll have absolutely no bearing on that appeal process.
Martin: And is that because the Odin Lloyd case, during that trial, this 2012 homicide was not admitted as evidence in that case.
Hernandez’s conviction in the Odin Lloyd case will be automatically reviewed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.