Former New England Patriot football player Aaron Hernandez is facing charges for murder and firearms offenses in Massachusetts for the summer killing of his friend, 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. According to wwlp.com, new developments in the criminal case center on 24-year-old Shayanna Jenkins, Mr. Hernandez’s girlfriend. According to reports, Ms. Jenkins was indicted on one count of perjury for her actions during the murder investigation earlier this month. While it is not clear exactly what led to Ms. Jenkins’ indictment, the action by the grand jury puts this case in the spotlight once again.
Of the five people that face charges in connection with Mr. Lloyd’s killing, the media has frenzied around his friend, Mr. Hernandez. According to CNN.com, the former tight end player is accused of orchestrating the killing of Mr. Lloyd, who was found dead in an industrial park in mid-June. Mr. Hernandez and several other men allegedly picked Mr. Lloyd up on the morning before his death. Mr. Hernandez had pleaded not guilty to several charges, including first-degree murder and weapons charges. Prosecutors believe that Mr. Hernandez’s motivation for killing his friend was related to his anger over Mr. Lloyd talking to certain people that he had problems with at a nightclub.
Most people are aware that first-degree murder charges are very serious, and could lead to a very long term of imprisonment, as well as other severe penalties and consequences. However, it is important for Massachusetts residents to understand that weapons charges are also seriously prosecuted in Massachusetts, and can bring with them long terms of imprisonment, a felony record, and other collateral consequences.
Massachusetts weapons charges and gun laws are extremely complex. However, one provision of the Massachusetts General Laws that is demonstrative of the severity of weapons charges in Massachusetts is the law against using a firearm while committing a felony crime. Under Massachusetts General Laws Part IV Title I Chapter 265 Section 18b, a person is guilty of using a firearm during the commission a felony if he or she had a firearm in his or her possession or under his or her control during the commission or attempted commission of a felony crime. This includes the possession or control of a rifle or a shotgun. The penalty for a rifle, shotgun, or other firearm is a term of imprisonment of at least five years. However, if the firearm was a machine gun, the term of imprisonment is lengthened to a term of no less than 10 years.
Subsequent violations of the law bring with them even harsher penalties. A subsequent offense of the law may be punished by a prison term of no less than 20 years. If the subsequent offense was committed with a large capacity semiautomatic weapon, or a machine gun, the term may be no less than 25 years. Sentences under the law may not be reduced or suspended, and a person convicted under the law will not be eligible for probation, parole, work release, or furlough until the minimum term has been served.
If you have been charged with violating Massachusetts criminal laws you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Edward R. Molari Attorney at Law today for a confidential consultation.
See Related Posts: