On Wednesday (April 19), news surfaced that former New England Patriot and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell. The 27-year-old was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on April 15, 2015, for the fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd in June 2013.
During a press conference, Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Ward, shared her thoughts on Hernandez’s death — “I pray to God that his soul is at peace,” — and why she thinks justice prevails even though the murder conviction may be erased. “Because no matter what, the jurors found him guilty,” Ward said. “So that in my book he’s still guilty, in my book and in my family’s book.”
Journalists then asked the matriarch to explain the importance of the civil case, which she said is bigger than just her family.
“It’s not about the civil case, it’s about my son Odin Lloyd. It’s about families that lost their loved ones and we need justice,” Ward explained. “There’s so many families out there in the world that don’t have the opportunity that I have right now to speak on their family’s behalf because the media is not involved in their life. There’s so many unsolved murders out there that the media is not involved in. It’s not even about Odin Lloyd, it’s about the person that committed the the crime for Odin Lloyd. If it wasn’t for that, you guys wouldn’t be here to ask me questions about Odin Lloyd. Today I’m speaking up for Odin Lloyd and for the families out there that are fighting for justice that don’t have the voice that I can provide for them.”
Right before Hernandez’s death, a jury cleared him of two counts of murder following the deaths of two men in a drive-by shooting in Boston in 2012, CNN reports.
According to ESPN, Ward’s attorney requested that the NFL Players Association and the New England Patriots administer “whatever money Hernandez might still be owed” to Ward in order to settle the case. But for Lloyd’s mother, “There’s no amount of money in the world that could bring Odin back, none. And even if, there’s not a penny involved into this. It had nothing to do with my justice today for Odin Lloyd.”