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Baez turns attention to overturning Hernandez’s murder conviction

The former New England Patriots TE has a theoretical path to freedom, but it will not be easy.

Buoyed by securing an acquittal in the double-murder trial against former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, lawyer Jose Baez will now turn his attention to pursuing a successful appeal of the 2015 conviction for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd.

If, that is, Hernandez can afford it.

There’s no finality in the other case yet,” Baez told TMZ after Friday’s verdict. “He still has many appeals, which we’re going to start taking a look at. In that case, I always felt that that was a winnable case. Unfortunately, Aaron didn’t call me then. He went with his agent’s recommendation, and here we are today. But I always thought the first was case was a winnable case.

“Aaron’s not a killer. What’s interesting is that he hung around a lot of bad people, and if he’s guilty of anything it’s guilty of not forgetting where he came from, and hanging around the wrong group of people.”

Baez expressed optimism that Hernandez eventually will be released from prison.

“I think that if we look back at some of the things that are available to appeal in that case,” Baez said, “I think there’s a strong likelihood” that he’ll get a new trial in the Odin Lloyd case. “And if [Hernandez] hires me for the second trial, we’re gonna go all at it. Nothing would make me happier than to prove everybody wrong.”

Of course, to get the benefit of Baez’s skills, Hernandez will need to pay for Baez. The lawyer said that, even though Hernandez has “very little” money left, he has “friends and supporters” who “hopefully . . . will come forward” to assist him financially.

Before anyone argues that Baez should handle the other case for free, that’s how the guy makes a living. And he obviously does it well, securing acquittals for Casey Anthony in 2011 and now for Hernandez. To invest hundred if not thousands of hours into representing Hernandez for free, Baez would be foregoing other potential employment -- employment that will now justify an even higher fee given his proven ability to win cases that may have seemed unwinnable.

Of course, if Baez were to undo the existing Hernandez conviction and win an acquittal in a re-trial of the case, he’d likely be able to name his price when representing anyone else who has the resources to pay for a guy who keeps pulling the reasonable doubt rabbit out of his hat, or out of some other orifice.