FALL RIVER, Mass. - A Massachusetts judge who oversaw the trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has rejected a request to throw out his first-degree murder conviction or reduce it to second-degree murder.
Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh turned down a motion for a required finding of not guilty in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
A jury convicted Hernandez in April. The motion was a procedural step that had to be taken before an appeal.
Garsh says in the decision released Wednesday that prosecutors proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.
Still pending is a separate request from Hernandez's lawyers to investigate an anonymous tip that a juror in the case might have been untruthful during jury selection.