Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction could be tossed

Posted at 11:08 AM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 11:09:17-04

MILFORD, Mass. (AP) - Aaron Hernandez's death means his murder conviction is likely to disappear.

Under Massachusetts law, defense attorneys can seek to have convictions vacated when a defendant dies before an appeal is heard.

Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2013 death of Odin Lloyd.RE

RELATED: Ex-NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Acquitted Of Double Murder

Authorities say Hernandez was found hanging in his Massachusetts prison cell early Wednesday and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

RELATED: Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez found hanged in jail cell

Removing a conviction after the death of a high profile defendant has precedent in the state.

Former Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan's child molestation conviction was vacated after he was beaten to death in his prison cell in 2003.

John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers in Brookline in 1994, also had his convictions dismissed after he killed himself in prison.