Fiancée of Aaron Hernandez speaks out
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Monday Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the fiancée of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez spoke out for the first time publicly on “Dr.Phil.”
Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell on April 19 and last week a Massachusetts Judge tossed out his 2013 murder conviction.
CBS12 investigated the questions surrounding the basis of the ruling.
We learned it all came down to a legal principle in Massachusetts that says when a defendant dies before their appeal is heard they’re no longer considered guilty in the eyes of the law.
“In Massachusetts because he died before the appeal everything was wiped clean,” said legal expert Carissa Kranz.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Judge E. Susan Garsh tossed out Hernandez’s conviction after his attorneys made their request under a long standing legal principle in Massachusetts known as abatement ab initio or “from the beginning.”
If the Hernandez case were to have occurred here in Florida Kranz said the same principal may not have applied.
“In Florida the same precedent does not necessarily apply. It could apply under these facts. It’s very likely that it would apply under these facts, but in Florida it’s not an automatic presumption that if someone dies pending an appeal they’re going to overturn an otherwise good conviction,” said Kranz.
Kranz cited a 1996 Florida Supreme Court case that concluded “the death of the defendant does not extinguish a presumable correct conviction and restore the presumption of innocence.”
“Florida is more likely to hold someone accountable than Massachusetts,” said Kranz
Kranz added that does not necessarily mean they will.