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A Massachusetts judge threw out the murder conviction of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez because he died before his appeal could be heard, The New York Times reports.

Judge E. Susan Garsh made the ruling under the abatement ab initio doctrine, saying the legal principle compelled the court to vacate the conviction.

A jury found Hernandez guilty in 2015 of the first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd. The former New England Patriots tight end hanged himself in prison where he was serving a life sentence.

Under the legal doctrine, he technically died an innocent man. Consequently, it also complicates efforts to recoup monetary damages and file a civil lawsuits against Hernandez.

The prosecutor plans to appeal the judge’s decision, arguing that the doctrine is inapplicable because Hernandez committed suicide, The Times reported.

SOURCE:  New York Times

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