The lawyer for the mother of Odin Lloyd, the man Aaron Hernandez was convicted of killing in 2015, has “challenged” the New England Patriots to make a wrongful death payment to the Lloyd family.
Douglas Sheff, attorney for Ursula Ward, Lloyd’s mother, told reporters on Friday that the family has already won a civil wrongful death suit against Hernandez but the amount of damages has yet to be determined.
Sheff issued a “friendly challenge” to the Patriots, who Hernandez played for, to pay those damages, saying it would make the team “champions of justice.”
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Hernandez’s suicide this week has complicated the legal issues surrounding his 2015 murder conviction. Because of an old Massachusetts legal rule, the conviction has technically been thrown out because the appeals process had not yet been completed.
Sheff said that he wasn’t worried that the change would affect Ward and her family's case. Ward told reporters that she knows the money will not bring her son back but that it would bring about justice for her son’s killing and also help other families.
“We would use the money toward scholarships to help other people,” she said.
When asked if it was the N.F.L. team’s “duty or obligation” to pay out that money, Sheff said that he didn’t imply that it was either.
“I simply made the invitation,” he said.
Hernandez suicide came less than a week after a jury acquitted him of double-murder in a separate case. He was serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 killing of Lloyd.
Some have wondered if Hernandez’s estate even has any money left considering the cost of two cases and high-profile attorneys.
“That’s a very good question,” Sheff said. “We wonder the same thing.”