TMZ is reporting that Aaron Hernandez has just been found guilty of 1st degree murder in the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Several people inside the courtroom began crying as the verdict was read.
As the verdict was read, Hernandez was shaking his head in disbelief.
Hernandez — a former tight end for the New England Patriots — killed Lloyd on June 17th, 2013.
Aaron was also found guilty of illegal gun possession and illegal ammunition possession.
Hernandez is still shackled in the courtroom.
Sorry developing …
Another police officer decided to take the law into his hands and appointed himself the prosecutioner, the star witness, the judge and the executioner. He applied an illegal chokehold, ignored the victim’s plea that he couldn’t breathe and held on to the man’s throat until the man stopped breathing.
Today we learned that the police officer, who I must reiterate used an illegal chokehold that killed a man, today we learned the officer apparently did nothing wrong as a New York grand jury failed to indict. In the last two weeks, two police officers who killed two different individuals walked without even a slap on the wrist.
The constant in these two stories is of course, race. White police officers and black victims.
In a statement released after the grand jury found no reason to take him to court, the officer who applied the illegal chokehold, Daniel Pantaleo, said, “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”
Now I’m not saying that Pantaleo woke up that day determined to kill someone, but if his intention was not to cause “harm” to Mr Garner and instead was to “protect those who can’t protect themselves,” then Pantaleo should have released his illegal chokehold when Garner cried for his life uttering the phrase, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe..” 11 times!
But hey, Pantaleo had the right to “go home to his family,”‘ right? That’s another constant we keep hearing – that the officer has to go home to his family. Or that he was ‘scared for his life’ and needed to remove that threat by choking Garner from behind until Garner’s lifeless body laid motionless on that Staten Island sidewalk.
“I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” he said, and Eric Garner’s last words were, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”
In failing to acquit or convict Michael Dunn on the most significant charge — the premeditated murder of a teenager in a dispute over loud music — a jury on Saturday may have run headlong into the breadth and reach of Florida’s contentious self-defense law.
In their 30 hours of deliberation, the 12-member panel wrangled with a question that cuts to the heart of all self-defense claims: How does a juror know when using lethal force is justified, where nothing is straightforward, memories are hazy or contradictory and perception counts as much as fact?
Even as the jury agreed to convict Mr. Dunn of attempted murder, it found no consensus on murder.
In the courtroom, Mr. Dunn told the jury he shot Jordan Davis, 17, after the teenager pointed a shotgun at him from the window of a sport utility vehicle, threatened him and then got out of the truck. The two cars were parked side by side in front of a gas station convenience store
But the prosecution said there was no shotgun: No witness saw one, the three teenagers who were in the vehicle with Mr. Davis said they did not have a shotgun, and the police never found one. While Mr. Dunn fired 10 rounds at the teenagers on Nov. 23, 2012, no one ever shot back.
Rather, the prosecution argued, Mr. Dunn shot Mr. Davis because he became enraged after the teenager disregarded his request to turn down the loud rap music blasting from the vehicle and then “mouthed off,” hurling expletives at him. He fabricated a story about the shotgun to bolster his self-defense claim, they added.
But the state failed to persuade everyone on the jury — four white men, four white women, one Hispanic man, two black women and an Asian-American woman — of their version of events. As a result, the judge was forced to declare a mistrial Saturday on the charge of first-degree murder. A new trial on that count is expected to take place later this year.
As the 12 jurors decide the fate of Michael Dunn, an entire community is waiting for that decision.
First Coast News spoke to criminal defense attorney Mark O’Mara Thursday morning and he believes Michael Dunn will be found guilty.
“I don’t think the jury is going to be able to get past the fact that Dunn did not contact the police right away and that is going to bleed back over into whether or not he was justified in the shooting and they are going to find it was not justified,” said O’Mara.
As we enter day two of verdict watch, Mr. O’Mara said he doesn’t think the length of time a jury deliberates means the jurors are swaying one way or another. With a lot of evidence to go through plus complicated wording in the law, it could take time for the jurors to reach a verdict.
Security was also a big concern for Mr. O’Mara when he defended George Zimmerman. O’Mara believes if a not guilty verdict came back, there could be even more community outrage.
“If he is found not guilty then yes I think that there will be a backlash in the community about a not guilty verdict even more so in this case than the Zimmerman case. The facts of this case do not seem to support self defense near as much as the Zimmerman case did,” said Mr. O’Mara.