BOSTON (CBS) – The attorney for Odin Lloyd’s family offered a “friendly challenge” to the New England Patriots organization Friday, asking the team to voluntarily pay up to millions of dollars in bonus money to the family of the man Aaron Hernandez was convicted of killing.
Hernandez was convicted in 2015 for murdering Lloyd two years earlier.
The former Patriots player’s attorneys said previously he was struggling financially as a result of his court cases. But recent reports indicated after he was found dead Wednesday in his jail cell that his death could leave the Patriots responsible for about $6 million in bonuses to Hernandez.
Because Hernandez died before all of his appeals were heard, it’s possible his conviction for Lloyd’s murder could be vacated.
During a Friday press conference, attorney Doug Sheff, who represents Lloyd’s mother Ursula Ward in a wrongful death lawsuit, asked the Patriots to volunteer to give the money to the court.
“We want to issue a very friendly challenge to the New England Patriots, the best team in the NFL. Undisputed champions of football, but we want to provide the Patriots with the opportunity to become something more,” said Sheff.
Ward said she hopes to use money she receives for a scholarship in Lloyd’s name.
“We urge the New England Patriots to work with the players association to voluntarily make these payments. Of little consequence to the team, of tremendous assistance to these struggling, deserving families who are hurting,” Sheff added.
The Patriots declined to comment on the request.
“I pray to God his soul is at peace,” Ward said at the press conference. She did not discuss Hernandez’s death further. Sheff said at the beginning of the briefing that “frankly, she’s heard enough about him.”
Ward explained she came forward because she had an opportunity to be a voice for other families of murder victims seeking justice.
“It’s not about the civil case. It’s about my son Odin Lloyd. It’s about families that lost their loved ones. We need justice,” said Ward.
She added, “There’s no amount of money in the world that can bring my son back.”
Sheff said he does not believe a vacated conviction would impact his civil case against Hernandez. Still, he said he hopes the Patriots pay Hernandez’s contract money to Lloyd’s family.
“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,” said Sheff.