Rolling Stone writer: Hernandez will be acquitted, return to NFL

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The author of the much-discussed Rolling Stone profile of Aaron Hernandez believes that prosecutors lack the evidence to convict him of first-degree murder, and that Hernandez will eventually return to the NFL.

Rolling Stone contributing editor Paul Solotaroff said on the Doug Gottlieb Show that he doubts prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernandez murdered Odin Lloyd.

“I think [the case] is not only beatable, I think he will be back in the NFL within three or four years,” Solotaroff said. “I think they’ve grossly overcharged him based on the case they’re building – no direct eye witness, no murder weapon, no plausible motive.”

Solotaroff wrote a fine magazine story about Hernandez, but he seems to be going beyond the purview of his own reporting when he suggests that the prosecution’s case is weak. In his own magazine piece, Solotaroff lays out much of the case: Text messages confirm that Lloyd told his sister that he was with Hernandez, in a manner that suggested he was scared of what Hernandez might do to him, just before Lloyd was killed. Security cameras showed a heated exchange between Hernandez and Lloyd. Hernandez’s own home security footage shows him ranting and raving about how you can’t trust anyone after his exchange with Lloyd, and shows him holding the kind of gun that prosecutors say was used to kill Lloyd. Tire tracks near Lloyd’s body match the tires of the rental car Hernandez was driving.

As for the lack of an eye witness, one of the two people who was with Hernandez and Lloyd on the night Lloyd was killed, Carlos Ortiz, has reportedly cooperated extensively with police. That cooperation apparently stops short of saying that Ortiz actually saw Hernandez kill Lloyd, as Ortiz claims he stayed in the car when the shooting happened. But Ortiz reportedly told police that the other man who was with them that night, Ernest Wallace, left the car they were in with Hernandez and Lloyd, that shots were fired, and that when Hernandez and Wallace returned, Wallace told Ortiz that Hernandez shot Lloyd.

Solotaroff does believe that prosecutors have enough enough evidence to convict Hernandez of weapons charges that could put him in prison for three years. So even Solotaroff doesn’t think Hernandez is going to be a free man soon. But Solotaroff is a whole lot more optimistic about Hernandez’s future than most people who have looked at the case.

105 responses to “Rolling Stone writer: Hernandez will be acquitted, return to NFL

  1. Out of prison in a few years? Likely. Back in the NFL? Honestly, I don’t know.

    My first thought is that Hernandez is beyond redemption, but after 1-3 years of prison time and if he’s a totally different person when he comes out, it’s distasteful to think about right now, but not out of the realm of possibility.

  2. Also the possibility of amended charges? A plea deal? 20 years to avoid a potential life sentence? Curious the reporter would go out on such a limb. However, the police investigation did seem “leaky’. But with so much talking off the record going on, he must really trust his sources. Yeah, we see how that works out all the time, not.

  3. The ‘star witness’ is a junky (Ortiz) LMAO.

    Hernandez will walk easily.
    OJ walked.
    Casey Anthony walked.
    Zimmerman walked.

    Guilty as sin, but reasonable doubt is there.
    Jay-Z’s 1st album is a classic 🙂


  4. The Saints should go ahead and pick him up. Just put his contract in his commissary account!

  5. Typical rolling stone writer who uses flowery, impressive language to mask the lack of any substance whatsoever in his/her articles.

    This person is just pressing the right buttons to get people’s attention. Taking the contrarian stance that “Hernandez will be let off the hook, trust me, I’m a rolling stone writer” is an easy way to do that.

  6. Dear Aaron,
    Pretend to find God, plead to a reduced charge, pay off the family, then Ozzie will sign you to become the new face of the Ravens. It worked for me, it will work for you.
    Your brother in crime,
    Ray Ray

  7. If the d-ba returns then it’s a disgrace for the NFL, but we all know some team(s) will take him because he’s a good football player. Even if he’s completely out of his mind.

  8. Well that seems legit and credible, coming from an organization that decided to put the Boston Bomber on the cover of their magazine…

  9. He may very well be acquitted….I don’t know, I’m not very familiar with the evidence….but his chances of landing back on an NFL roster are about the same as OJ’s.

  10. I have heard a lot about this story from Rolling Stone Magazine and the story itself, MAY be a great story. But RSM generally puts out a bunch of crap being part of the bleeding heart liberal media.

    This idiot saying don’t have evidence, motive etc, seems to be speaking from an OPINION and a seemingly ignorant opinion at that.

    Even IF Hernandez is acquitted, there isn’t a team in the NFL that will take him.

    @meetchicken: you should probably stop posting. you sound like an uneducated ignorant moron. that’s fine you hate the cowboys, but they have had among top 10, FEWEST arrests and suspensions over the past 10, years. if you are going to talk, at least KNOW what you are talking about, you ignorant Tool

  11. NO WAY will he ever play in NFL game again. The commissioner would ban him & he would be blackballed by every team… Being associated with the possible murder of 5 people is a little bit worse than some dog fighting or shooting yourself.

  12. We can both look for the real killers on the golf courses together when I get out!- OJ Simpson

  13. Of course he’ll be back. There are maybe 3 or 4 other TEs in the league better than this guy. Its the NFL, not choir practice, if you can play you can be the Devil himself and you’ll get a contract.

  14. if he’s found innocent in a court of law by a trial of his peers then that’s that and i couldn’t care less about which team he may or may not join.

  15. Is this really going to end up being the Casey Anthony trial all over again? Common sense says that Casey did it. Common sense says that Hernandez did it, or at the very least ordered someone else to do it. Sometimes common sense needs to come into play during these trials even when the evidence can’t prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Seriously, if not Aaron then who? Someone killed Odin Lloyd. That we know for a fact. It’s not like someone made that up. There may not be enough evidence to prove Aaron’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt(although even without a murder weapon I do believe that there is enough evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt) but there is 0 evidence to even suggest that someone other than Aaron or one of the other people with him that night did it. No one has made the case and I don’t believe anyone is ever going to make the case that someone else outside of Aaron’s group was responsible for this murder because no one with half a brain would buy that story.

    So I can only hope that common sense comes into play here unlike the Casey Anthony trial and the jurors come to the conclusion that Aaron had a big part in this murder and convict him even if the evidence doesn’t prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  16. I agree with Solotaroff that the jury will find Aaron Hernandez not guilty of murder but he will serve time (3 yrs) for the weapons charge. With time off for good behavior, Hernandez will be out of prison in about 18 months.

    Do I think Hernandez committed the murder? Possibly…but believe Wallace was the hired trigger man and lied to Ortiz to cover for himself. Since neither Wallace or Hernandez will talk, there is a good chance that they both will walk.

    Although there is lots of circumstantial evidence in this case, but without finding the gun or having Wallace talk…they both will walk.

  17. ZERO chance he gets back in the league. Even if acquitted there is just way too much stuff out there that says he is a violent sociopath. What team would want to place a ticking bomb on their roster (without even knowing how long the timer will last)?

  18. So an eye witness puts him at the murder scene with one other guy (Ernest Wallace). When Hernandez and Wallace left the scene to come back to the car, Lloyd had been shot. That means one of those two guys committed first degree murder and the other is at minimum and accessory to murder.

    He has to go to jail for a long time for this.

  19. This guy should stick to writing about crappy pop music because he obviously doesn’t know much about football. No one who is out of the league for 3 or 4 years comes back and resumes their career. Johnny Jolly is the closest I’ve ever heard of and I believe he was out of the league for less than 2 full seasons.

  20. “But Ortiz reportedly told police that the other man who was with them that night, Ernest Wallace, left the car they were in with Hernandez and Lloyd, that shots were fired, and that when Hernandez and Wallace returned, Wallace told Ortiz that Hernandez shot Lloyd.”

    World’s most difficult sentence to follow.

  21. The guy realized what he had done writing that article and figured he should say something encouraging about Hernandez to decrease his chances of being the victim of an unfortunate “accident”.

  22. Top 3hree teams that will sign him when he is acquitted:


    dark horse team is the jets

    Looking for that high count in “thumbs up” for this weak sauce comment??? All 3 teams wouldn’t touch this guy even if he gets off…Also all 3 teams seem to be doing much better with players NOT in the news every other week..The foundation for the Raiders and Bengals is in place in terms of change in selection of players and FA’s…Dallas I think Jerry is much more careful than in past years…So dude upgrade your 1 liners because that was whack! Maybe he returns to Florida as an asst coach…

  23. All the evidence said Ray Lewis killed a guy, but he was acquitted and came back. Nobody seems to remember that he paid off the victim’s family with millions of dollars, too.

  24. With the evidence they have up to this point, and I’ve said this all along, I think he walks on the murder charge but they’ll hammer him on the weapons charge and he’ll serve some time

    As for coming back to the NFL, I really doubt any team would want any part of him seeing as how many of them didn’t even have him on their draft boards; now that he’d be coming off a murder charge, I think the NFL would blackball him because the league is finally beginning to realize the impact some of these players are having on the reputation on the league. His career as an NFL player, regardless of how the murder charge turns out, is over

  25. I don’t see what’s the big deal on who pulled the trigger…if you are both there and one didn’t attempt or stop the other from killing said person then both are just as guilty.

    See the problem with the judicial system is they’ve gotten to the point where not only do you need to lead them to the water you have to help them drink it as well.

    It’s not that difficult if you ask me…if both or all 3 left with Lloyd and all 3 returned without Lloyd then all 3 are guilty doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger.

  26. Pats are known for giving players with a bad rep a chance. Maybe they will give this guy a chance. ……… Burn …………

  27. He will still need to be suspended for a hit to the head,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the rule needs to change the player can only come back when the injured player can return. How is Odin recovering from that hit to the head?

    What money buys in America,,,,,,,,,,,,my guess is two cents to rub together doesn’t get off on this charge.

    If OJ can get away with what he did to the wife of his children my guess is Hernandez will walk for taking out another banger.

  28. Consider that 2 of Hernandez’s family members recently met unfortunate “accidents” and passed away. If I put out this story against AH, I would try to spin it positive too. Get on his good side, man. Good luck.

  29. DonRSD says:
    Aug 29, 2013 11:11 AM
    The ‘star witness’ is a junky (Ortiz) LMAO.

    Hernandez will walk easily.
    OJ walked.
    Casey Anthony walked.
    Zimmerman walked.

    Guilty as sin, but reasonable doubt is there.
    Jay-Z’s 1st album is a classic 🙂


    What is big BLIE???

    Seriously Don, I bet it’s hard work being that stupid, and I bet you work hard at it. How many hours a day do you practice? Clown.

  30. Rolling stone writer is rolling too many joints. That dude won’t be getting off Scott free and no NFL team is touching him.

  31. The definition of reasonable doubt depends highly on the salary of your legal team, so he may get off on the murder despite the evidence. Those top ivy league legal minds can always come up with some alternate theory, they are master story tellers. But, no NFL team will sign him, just like no network brought OJ back into the announcers booth. NFL teams are billion dollar corporations and the liability of bringing a reputed murderer into the office far outweighs the value of getting a cheap contract from a guy who used to be a top-5 Tight End a few years back but had some injuries and is older. This isn’t carrying a gun in a club or being cruel to animals, this is cold blooded murder, and its beyond what any corporation cares to rehabilitate. Sandusky would have a better chance getting back into coaching.

  32. At BARE MINIMUM he should be convicted of Accessory to Murder. How could he not considering he was present at the time of the murder, he destroyed video camera footage to conceal evidence, and hasn’t cooperated with police? If that isn’t accessory to murder and he walks then our legal system is a complete and total joke. I can guarantee if he was some poor scmuck from the ghetto, he’d get convicted on much less.

    I agree they might not have enough to say he actually pulled the trigger. But at bare minimum he orchestrated the whole thing and is an accessory. I’m not sure if orchestrating a murder is viewed the same as pulling the trigger in a court of law, but it should be. They aren’t any different.

  33. Writers need to write. giving dumb opinions only hurt your credibility as a writer. Lets see, 3 guys get out of a car, gunshot, 2 guys get back in the car. Seems both could be charged with Accessary to Murder charges if they cant pin it on one of them. IF thats not possible, then ourlegal system blows.

  34. Now, I can’t afford the wig to be a big time attorney like Florio, but the case, as laid out in RS, seems pretty strong to me, at least all the alleged evidence.

    Regardless, his NFL career is most likely over. Then again, NFL owners are greedy, and someone just might feel desperate enough to hire him.

  35. @notorious-

    So I can only hope that common sense comes into play here unlike the Casey Anthony trial and the jurors come to the conclusion that Aaron had a big part in this murder and convict him even if the evidence doesn’t prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    –Unfortunately, my friend, this is simply not how the justice system should work. Though not the original quote, I agree more with Benjamin Franklin than Blackstone in that “it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer”.

    Convict the gun charges, hell- convict anything that can be proven. Do not let yourself slip into the jaded mentality that a man is guilty once the court of public opinion has made up their mind.

  36. There’s always the Raiders, I suppose… IF he is acquitted, which he won’t be.

  37. I think this Solotaroff went to the same school of marketing as Miley Cyrus did . . .it’s only important that they are talking about you (and your mag) and not so important if it is good news or even based on fact. His opinion that Hernandez will might get off the murder charge and may be back in the league after serving time for a weapons charge is a wild assed guess — or as good as mine at this point !! He has little insight to world of the current NFL and gives his ‘story’ little validity with predictions on a trial that is probably a year away. He seems to be pinning a lot of this on the Patriots coach and ownership. I don’t know the facts (and I doubt his hearsay reporting has all the facts either) but I doubt BB and the rest of the Patriots Org had ANY idea Hernandez was as deep into this as he was. If Colleges + NFL Orgs took steps to disconnect themselves from players with at risk personalities and histories just how many people do you think this would include ?

  38. If Hernandez can’t ever be convicted based on all the evidence then who can be? The evidence is overwhelming. He is seen with a gun on his home security system shortly after the murder, he is in the car with Lloyd when he was murdered, he had motive. Even if one of his buddies pulled the trigger, he was in on it and appears to have orchestrated the whole thing. Mass juries are much smarter than those in Florida. People will actually look at the evidence and not have agendas.

  39. He’s just trying to get more page views & eyes on his name/article. That’s all. typical troll job. Way to give it attention.

  40. It is disturbingly similar to the Ray Lewis case.

    They have him at the scene of the crime with dna and witness testimony. They know for certain one of the men in Hernandez’s group fired the fatal shot. They have an abundance of circumstantial evidence.

    But they lack murder weapon, confession, credible eye witness, etc.

    I feel like in cases like this when you know one of 3 men fired the shot, but not which one, you should be able to nail all of them as accomplices. But that weirdly isn’t how the law works.

    This might be a case where Hernandez walks and one or both of his associates do not. Power of good attorney’s.

    Hopefully the NFL never lets this chump back though. I can’t imagine a team hiring him.

  41. No team would take him? Are you serious, he’d be a Raven before he walked out of the jail….Please, Baltimore, Dallas, Cincy, NY, would be lining up drooling to get this jerk.

  42. isn’t this the same magazine that put the Boston bomber on its cover and made him look like Jim Morrison? This magazine is desperately hanging on, they haven’t been relevant in years

  43. Since when do we listen to the media? I’d trust the author of that rag as much as Hernandez right now. The media is at the root of what is bad with the NFL and this country. With some of the questions they ask and their personalities, u have a hard time believing they are college educated.

  44. No offense, but guys that read sports blogs can not credibly call Rolling Stone a “rag”. Alas, much of what is available to read in the mainstream media is devoid of any intellectual curiosity and investigative insight. At least Rolling Stone makes me think. I don’t need to agree with everything I read but I would rather read a contrarian piece than the “white bread” that is promoted as brilliant by a cadre of shills.

  45. Without the gun / fingerprints, the case will hinge on the jury’s perception of Resonable Doubt. The circumstancial evidence is really strong from what has been said so far, including video of the 4 guys in the car entering the industrial park where Lloyd’s body was found and 3 of them leaving shortly after.

    Defense speculation is that AH didn’t want to kill Lloyd, but only wanted to intimidate him, and one of AH’s boys pulled the trigger.

    But AH put all of the actions in place that resulted in these guys being in the industrial park with guns and the end result is Lloyd was murdered.

    My understanding is that you don’t need to actually pull the trigger to get convicted, a person who hires a hit man to do the killing for him is also deemed guilty of murder one.

    So what is the difference between pulling the trigger and putting the victim in a position where an associate pulls the trigger?

  46. If Aaron can come back to the NFL and he murdered three people, does that mean OJ (with a count of two) can return as well?

  47. ray lewis wasnt acquited of anything. all charges were dropped because the atlanta da’s office realized he didnt do it. and what does this has to do with aaron hernandez? i cant see any team taking him. and he will probably be suspended before he is allowed back, if hes even allowed back

  48. @ColtswinColtswin. Why the hell would Cincinnati take this POS? They already have Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert!!! Jermaine a 2 time pro bowler and Tyler is going to be a beast too!

    Uhhh No Thanks!! Your Dolts could use him though! 🙂

  49. This is Mike Vick all over again…America loves a feel good story and when this guy gets back in the NFL in 3 or 4 years we’ll all have a redemption story to cheer for like we did with Vick. I’m looking forward to it.

    (Tounge planted firmly in my cheek)

  50. @tigerlilac
    My comment was made in light of that RAG magazines descision to display a picture of a terrorist murderer on their front cover. It was done because much of the younger culture see this terrorist as cool, and hip!! He killed 3 people and injured hundreds others. They also destroyed thousands of people’s lives associated with the injured. In my opinion as a supporter of the military and the U.S. in fighting terrorism and risking their lives, I see this as a slap in the face to all. In my opinion they stooped to sensationalis, rather then true journalism to sell magazines as they slowly die in the age of the Internet. I will never read that RAG, and in my opinion some people their can be looked at as traitors.

  51. bigdaddy44 says:
    Aug 29, 2013 11:15 AM
    Dear Aaron,
    Pretend to find God, plead to a reduced charge, pay off the family, then Ozzie will sign you to become the new face of the Ravens. It worked for me, it will work for you.
    Your brother in crime,
    Ray Ray
    Dear bigdadda, Funny thing is Ray was a rookie in 1996. Newsome was in the Browns Front Office in 1996. What I will do is pretend you know football. I should definitely get off easy

    Your friend,

  52. Well, since Rolling Stone has chimed in, I guess we can dispense with a trial and just release this guy due to lack of evidence…..

    First, I thought RS had long ago fallen off the map. The formula to be relevant again is to say the stupidest thing possible to get someone to read your rag. (well mission accomplished)

    I don’t know whether he walks or not, but I’m guessing NOT…….

  53. I hope he gets off so the Ravens can sign him. They now have a void to fill. They need another guy who “didn’t do it.”

  54. autocascade says:
    Sep 5, 2013 9:30 AM
    Well they place him at the scene with the tire tracks but Ortiz’s statement hearsay.
    Not exactly. Ortiz is direct witness to all 4 guys being together in the car at the scene, Lloyd and Hernandez and the other guy walking away, hearing the gunshots and Hernandez and the other guy returning. The only hearsay would be the other guy telling Ortiz that Hernandez is the one who pulled the trigger. Basically they have a direct witness to 3 guys leaving a car, two returning and the other guy is dead . The only thing they do not know beyond reasonable doubt is which one (or maybe both) pulled the trigger. Depending on the state and how the charges are formed, they may not even need that. Charge them both with murder.

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