Lawyer for family of man Hernandez murdered wants Patriots’ payout

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – A lawyer for the mother of the man Aaron Hernandez murdered is asking the New England Patriots to voluntarily give her whatever money the ex-NFL star might still be owed. Hernandez was a star tight end for the team before he was cut in 2013, the same year he killed Odin Lloyd.

Ward’s lawyer, Doug Sheff, said he issued “a friendly challenge” to the New England Patriots and the NFL Players Association to voluntarily release whatever money Hernandez might still be owed so a court can decide who should get it. Ward has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit that seeks unspecified damages from Hernandez’s estate.

Sheff said he thinks the team might have owed Hernandez up to $6 million. The suit seeks to recover that plus proceeds from the eventual sale of Hernandez’s $1.3 million home, a Hummer and any other assets.

Asked if he believed Hernandez had any money actually left after years of litigation, Sheff replied: “Good question. We wonder that ourselves.” The Patriots did not immediately react to his request.

Hernandez was found hanging from a bedsheet Wednesday, days after being acquitted in a 2012 double homicide case.

Another of Hernandez’s lawyers said that he would ask a court to have that murder conviction erased. John Thompson said Friday he would file the necessary paperwork in Bristol County, the jurisdiction where Hernandez was tried and convicted in 2015.

Thompson didn’t say when he’ll file the request. The district attorney would be able to challenge it.

Courts in Massachusetts and a number of other states customarily vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard.

All first-degree murder convictions in Massachusetts trigger an automatic appeal. Hernandez’s appeal was still in its early stages and hadn’t yet been heard when he hanged himself.

(Copyright (c) 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)