Aaron Hernandez is a free man - technically. On Tuesday, a Massachusetts judge tossed out the former NFL wide receiver's conviction for killing semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.
Bristol County Judge Susan Garsh vacated the murder conviction in accordance with an archaic Massachusetts law that considers a convicted felon not guilty if he died before his appeal could be heard.
Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison when he hanged himself in his cell in April.
"This court cannot know why Hernandez ended his life," Garsh said. The judge speculated on why Herandez took his own life, including suggesting his "increased spirituality, and the fact that he was seeking redemption from God because he was bisexual.
The ruling didn't sit well with Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward. She left court quickly afterwards.
“In our book, he’s guilty and he will always be guilty,” Ward told reporters outside the courthouse. “But I know one day, I will see my son again."
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images