Coyne: Hernandez can be convicted without murder weapon
Aaron Hernandez went from arrested, to released by the Patriots, to charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.
To give some insight on what’s next for Hernandez in his impending trial, Massachusetts School of Law Associate Dean Michael Coyne spoke with Trenni Kusnierek on SportsNet Central Wednesday night. And after hearing the prosecution’s case, Coyne doesn’t see a positive outlook for the former Patriots tight end.
“In listening to their recounting of the evidence that they have today they have a sophisticated and extensive series of modern evidence; the text messages, surveillance cameras, the GPS records and the like,” Coyne said. “But what they don’t have is the proverbial smoking gun, the actual murder weapon, the fingerprints on it that they can ballistically test.
“So it’s still going to be at the end of the day a reasonable doubt case, but the evidence they had today shows quite extensively what is likely Hernandez’s involvement and role in what the government describes as an execution-style slaying.”
Even if the murder weapon isn’t found in the investigation and Hernandez is proved to not be the shooter, Hernandez could still be convicted with first-degree murder, according to Coyne.
“He’s been charged and will continue to be, and can be convicted of first-degree murder even without the murder weapon, even if he’s not one of the three people that pulled the trigger,” Coyne said.
“The three of them got together, decided they were going to execute him. The fact that the final bullet didn’t come out of Hernandez’s gun but one of his joint-venturers guns, that would still leave him potentially liable for first-degree murder.”
Take a look at the video above to hear more from Coyne on the Hernandez case.