North Attleborough, Massachusetts, U.S.
After Hernandez's death, on April 25, 2017, his lawyers filed a motion at Massachusetts Superior Court in Fall River to vacate his murder conviction. The request was granted on May 9, 2017; therefore Hernandez technically died an innocent man, due to the legal principle of abatement ab initio. Under Massachusetts law, this principle asserts that when a criminal defendant dies but has not exhausted all legal appeals, the case reverts to its status "at the beginning"—the conviction is vacated and the defendant is rendered "innocent." At the time of his death, Hernandez was in the process of filing an appeal for his 2015 conviction in the murder of Odin Lloyd. As of May 9, 2017, the date of the judge's ruling to vacate, the Bristol County district attorneys stated they planned to appeal the ruling, to the Massachusetts Supreme Court if necessary. The Lloyd family was disappointed with the ruling, but their attorney did not believe it would affect the wrongful death civil suit which the family had filed.