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Aaron Hernandez Conviction: Ex-Patriots Star Joins Other Ex-Pros Behind Bars

Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, convicted Wednesday for murder, will soon join a long roster of former pro athletes in prison.
/ Source: NBC News

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday, will soon join a long roster of former professional athletes in prison.

Here's a partial list:

Rae Carruth

Carruth, a former wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, was convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to murder his pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, 24. She died weeks after she was shot in November 1999, but her baby survived and is being raised by her mother. Carruth was sentenced to 18-24 years in prison, and has appealed his conviction. Those attempts have failed.

Mookie Blaylock

Blaylock, once an NBA All-Star, struggled with alcohol addiction after his retirement, and last year was sent to prison for seven years for vehicular homicide related to a crash in which he killed Monica Murphy in a head-on collision in Atlanta. Blaylock was a first-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 1989, and played 13 years in the NBA, mostly with the Atlanta Hawks. Popular for his unselfish style of play, his name was briefly used by the band that became Pearl Jam, which named their first album, "Ten," after his jersey number.

Dave Meggett

Once an electric running back and punt returner, Meggett was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2010 for criminal sexual conduct and burglary stemming from an eencounter with a college student at her house in North Charleston, South Carolina. Meggett played in the NFL from 1989 to 1998, mostly with the New York Giants.

James Butler

A boxer known as "The Harlem Hammer," Buter is serving a 30 year prison sentence for the 2004 killing in Hollywood, California, of Sam Kellerman, a freelance sportswriter who had been his friend.

Chad Curtis

Curtis won two World Series with the New York Yankees, including 1999's, in which he hit a game-winning home run. A self-described 'Bible thumper,' he left pro baseball in 2001 to return to his home state of Michigan, where in 2013 he was convicted of sexually assaulting teenage girls while working as a volunteer high school weight-room trainer. A judge sentenced him to seven to 15 years in prison.

Jimmy Hitchcock

Hitchcock wasn't particularly well-known during his days as a pro corner back from 1995 to 2002. He made new headlines in 2014, when he was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for operating a large mortgage fraud scheme.

O.J. Simpson

Simpson was one of the greatest running backs in NFL history, a sports announcer and popular product pitchman. He is also the subject of one of America's most notorious murder trials, which ended with his 1995 acquittal on charges that he murdered his wife and her friend at their Los Angeles home. In 2007, Simpson was arrested again, for an armed robbery in Las Vegas. This time, he was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison.

O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angeles on December 8, 1994.Pool via AFP - Getty Images

Sam Hurd

Hurd, a former wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, was sentenced in 2013 to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a drug trafficking ring whose operations overlapped with his playing days. The case exposed Hurd's double life as a hardworking wide receiver and married father — and as an aspiring kingpin.

Darryl Henley

Henley, a former cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams known for his skills, looks and smarts, was convicted of drug trafficking in 1995 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He later got another 21 years after admitting that he conspired to hire a hit man to murder his sentencing judge and a witness who worked against him.

Keon Clark

An eight-year NBA center and power forward, Clark's playing days ended in 2004. A decade later, in 2013, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for a string of weapons, drug and traffic-related offenses.

Patrick Cote

A former NHL enforcer who left pro hockey in 2001, Cote was sentenced to more than two years in prison in 2015 for a pair of bank robberies in Quebec, Canada.

John Wilson

Wilson was a wide receiver for the Washington Redskins for one season, in 1987. In 2011, police raided his Florida home and found guns and large amounts of cocaine. He pleaded guilty to drug and weapons charges, and in 2013 was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.

Oscar Pistorius

He made history in 2012 as the first runner on prosthetic legs to race in the Olympics. In 2014, South African Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the killing of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Michael Nunn

Nunn, a former middleweight and super middleweight boxing champion, received a 24-year prison sentence in 2004 for buying two pounds of cocaine from an undercover drug agent in his home state of Iowa.

International Boxing Federation Middleweight champion Michael Nunn celebrates after knocking-out challenger Sumbu Kalambay in the first round of their bout in Las Vegas on March 25, 1989, to retain his title.AP, file

Art Schlichter

Schlichter, a former quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and admitted gambling addict, is serving an 11-year prison sentence for scamming participants in a sports ticket scheme. He was convicted in 2012, 15 years after a conviction on forgery and theft.

Mel Hall

Hall, a former outfielder for the New York Yankees and other baseball teams, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in 2014 for the rape of a 12-year-old girl he coached on a basketball team. He had many other accusers.

Edward Lee Johnson Jr.

Known as “Fast Eddie,” Johnson is a former NBA all-star with the Atlanta Hawks who was convicted in 2008 of assaulting and molesting an 8-year-old girl, earning a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Arrested about 100 times in his post-basketball life, he blamed cocaine for his downfall.

Eric Naposki

Naposki, a linebacker for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, was convicted in 2012 of murdering his lover's boyfriend, William Francis McLaughlin, 17 years earlier. The lover, Nanette Ann Packard, allegedly urged Naposki to kill McLaughlin because she stood to collect $1 million on a life insurance policy.

Clifford Etienne

Former heavyweight boxer known as "The Black Rhino," Etienne was sentenced to 160 years in prison in 2006 for a Baton Route, Louisiana crime spree. A judge later ruled on a technicality and shaved 55 years off that penalty. “Our goal was to make sure he’s never released,” a prosecutor said afterwards.