• The jurors deliberated for more than 35 hours over parts of seven days.
• The sentencing is expected soon.
• None of the jurors looked at Aaron Hernandez when the verdicts were read.
Former New England Patriots’ star Aaron Hernandez nodded no as jurors in his Massachusetts trial found him guilty Wednesday of first degree murder, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Hernandez was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He will be sentenced Wednesday morning.
As the verdict was read, the former standout tight end appeared upset but calm — pursing his lips and taking a deep breath, as his lawyer James Sultan put his arm around him. He looked over to see his mother and fiancee weeping.
He mouthed to them, “It’s OK.”
Hernandez was on trial for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in a Massachusetts industrial park in June 2013.
Lloyd’s family appeared anxious in the Fall River, Massachusetts, courtroom prior to the verdict, as did the mother of Hernandez.
After the verdict, Lloyd’s relatives thanked and embraced members of the prosecution team.
The sensational trial started in late January, just days before the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Prosecutors took months to present more than 130 witnesses to build their case. The defense wrapped up its witnesses in less than a day.
Prosecutors say Lloyd was seen June 17, 2013, around 2:30 a.m. with Hernandez and Hernandez’s friends, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, in a rented silver Nissan Altima. Later that day, a jogger found his body riddled with gunshots.
Hernandez’s attorney, Sultan, told jurors that Hernandez “witnessed” Lloyd’s killing, “committed by somebody he knew,” and that the former NFL player “really didn’t know what to do, so he put one foot in front of another” and moved on with his life.
Two other men who were drug dealers allegedly killed Lloyd, Sultan told the jury.
Lloyd, who was working for a landscaping firm at the time of his killing, played football for the Boston Bandits, the oldest semi-pro team in Boston and the winner of four championships in the New England Football League, the team’s website says.
Evidence collected in Lloyd’s death led to two more murder charges against Hernandez in a separate case in Boston. He has pleaded not guilty. That trial is scheduled to begin in May, but officials say it will be pushed back.