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News of Aaron Hernandez suicide only adds to victims’ families’ grief

April 20, 2017 GMT

The 60-year-old father of Safiro Furtado, whose wrongful-death suit against Aaron Hernandez is set to move forward despite the late NFL star’s acquittal on double murder charges last week and his suicide yesterday, said he was saddened to learn Hernandez would “reject his own life.”

Salvatore Furtado, speaking through a translator, said he was “very surprised” by the news, and he “never thought that he would — that Aaron Hernandez would reject his own life.”

But Furtado said he “never likes for anybody to die,” and added the pain he feels daily from the loss of his 28-year-old son in a 2012 double murder in Boston’s South End was only amplified by yesterday’s news of Hernandez’s suicide.

“When God created man, He gave him a commandment to follow to respect life,” Furtado said. “It is very painful for Him when somebody takes their own life.”

Furtado’s lawyer, William Kennedy, said last week’s disappointing verdict in the killing of Furtado’s son and his close friend Daniel de Abreu will not end their civil lawsuit against Hernandez’s estate.

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“We intend at this point to go forward with the cases,” Kennedy said. “They were good people who deserved to live and that was robbed from them and their companionship was robbed from their families.”

Kennedy said his firm plans to investigate whether Hernandez’s death and likely abatement of his first murder conviction would affect withheld NFL compensation, such as a signing bonus, that could be acquired through their civil case. He said the Patriots had previously agreed to notify Superior Court if any compensation is made to Hernandez or his estate.

Kennedy added about the elder Furtado, “He also understands, just like the loss he’s had and his family has had, the Hernandez family is going through perhaps something similar, and they take no joy in what happened to him and more particularly to his family.”

But the news was received differently to the mother of Odin L. Lloyd, the Dorchester man who Hernandez was convicted of murdering in 2013.

Doug Sheff, a civil attorney representing Lloyd’s mother, said his client believes that Hernandez’s demise may have been part of a greater plan.

“She is obviously having a good deal of mixed emotions. She believes — as she is an extremely religious woman — that this is God’s will,” Sheff said of Ursula Ward, Lloyd’s mother. “She is sad for all of the others effected by this horrible event.”

In Dorchester, friends of Lloyd struggled to make sense of the news.

Angelo Paul, a close friend of Odin Lloyd’s who calls himself a “cousin” and says he played high school football with Lloyd, was still processing the news that Hernandez was found dead.

“It’s sad, it’s sad,” Paul said. “It’s rough around here.”