Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. He appealed the verdict shortly after it was handed down, but that appeal was rejected. A month ago, he filed another one, but Hernandez has since fired his legal team and hired a new high-profile group of attorneys, headlined by Jose Baez, who is most famous for helping Casey Anthony beat murder charges stemming from the 2008 death of her two-year old.
The two reportedly met yesterday, and Baez confirmed the news this evening:
“I can now confirm that my firm has been retained to represent Mr. Aaron Hernandez in his upcoming trial,” Baez said in a statement.
“Mr. Hernandez strongly maintains his innocence, and I plan to establish that before a jury of his peers.”
Not only is Hernandez trying to appeal his 2015 conviction, he still faces homicide charges for a 2012 drive-by shooting that left two dead. There is a ton of evidence tying Hernandez to that particular case, and the prosecution alleges that the dispute began over a spilled drink. Joining Baez on Hernandez’s legal team are Harvard law professor Ronald Sullivan and Alex Spiro. Spiro worked for Thabo Sefolosha in his defense against the NYPD. As ESPN points out, Spiro also represented two Oregon basketball players who sued the university after they were accused of rape in 2014 and kicked out of school.
Baez will lead the team. A few months ago, a private investigator who tracked Baez and Anthony during the case alleged that Baez knew that Anthony had murdered her daughter and was paid in sexual favors. Baez has denied the allegations.