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Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction voided after suicide

Aaron Hernandez died an innocent man in the eyes of the law.

News: Aaron Hernandez Trial The Boston Globe-Pool Photo

In the eyes of the law, Aaron Hernandez died an innocent man when he committed suicide in his Massachusetts prison cell.

Bristol County (Mass.) Judge Susan Garsh made the ruling official Tuesday morning, potentially saving the Hernandez family money owed by the New England Patriots that could have been previously withheld because of his murder conviction.

According to the Boston Globe, the former Patriots tight end’s 2015 conviction for first-degree murder was still in the process of an appeal. A legal principle called “abatement ab initio,” means that the death of Hernandez will revert the case to its status at the beginning, as if no conviction ever happened.

“Abatement is the law in this Commonwealth and this court is required to follow that precedent,” Garsh said, via Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. “… the Court has no other choice.”

While that won’t stop Hernandez from being seen as guilty in the eyes of the public, it could have an effect on the family of Odin Lloyd — the man Hernandez was convicted of killing in 2013. With the conviction of Hernandez voided, no evidence from the trial can be presented in civil court.

“Unfortunately, in the Odin Lloyd matter, for the family, there won’t be any real closure,” said Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association. “Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man.”

The ruling by Garsh didn’t go without contestation. Prosecutor Patrick Bomberg argued that the suicide circumvented the intent of abatement and a note left by Hernandez telling his fiance “YOURE RICH” showed the motive of his decision.

“The defendant should not be able to accomplish in death what he could not accomplish in life,” Bomberg said.

Hernandez was serving a life term without the possibility of parole, but was recently found not guilty in a separate 2012 double-homicide in Boston.