BOSTON (CBS) – It took nearly 36 hours of deliberations, but jurors found former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday, and correctly so, according to WBZ-TV Legal Analyst Harry Manion.

Read: Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty Of First Degree Murder

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Jurors convicted Hernandez in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd in an industrial park not far from Hernandez’s North Attleboro home in June 2013.

“This was a planned assassination by three gentlemen,” said Manion, referring to Hernandez, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz.

Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz. (WBZ-TV)

Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz. (WBZ-TV)


“The other two haven’t been convicted yet. But their trial is coming. (Jurors) found that Aaron Hernandez concocted and orchestrated a plan, for whatever reason.”

The lengthy deliberations had some speculating that a hung jury was a possibility.

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But, according to Manion, that simply showed how seriously jurors took their job.

“If and when you get to talk to the jury, I know you’re going to find people are going to say ‘Yeah we had a lot of questions and we debated it,’” Manion said. “But in the end their collective goodness, decency, moral fairness and following of the law got them to what I consider a very warranted, justified verdict.”

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From the start of the trial, Judge E. Susan Garsh gained attention for the evidence she did not allow into court that could have helped the prosecution make a stronger case.

Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh addresses media, April 9, 2015. (WBZ-TV)

Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh addresses media, April 9, 2015. (WBZ-TV)

Manion said that while prosecutors likely resented those decisions at the time, Garsh’s rulings are now likely to make a successful appeal extremely unlikely.

“At the time, I know the Commonwealth must have been just absolutely wringing their hands thinking ‘How can she do this? We need this evidence so bad. We know he did it. We need this evidence, and she excluded it,’” said Manion. “Now they’re obviously thanking this very meticulous judge because she did a very clean record.”

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For the first-degree murder conviction, Hernandez was ordered to serve life in prison.