Summary: Former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez was acquitted in the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2012.
Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was acquitted by a jury of double homicide in 2012. This was the first big legal win for the football star since his arrest in 2013 even if he went straight back to prison after the verdict was read. Hernandez may be able to claim a Super Bowl touchdown and a $40 million contract but he is still serving a life sentence for the fatal shooting of Odin L. Lloyd in 2013.
Hernandez is now passing his time at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts for the murder of Odin Lloyd. He was found guilty of first-degree murder, which in the state of Massachusetts carries an automatic life in person without parole sentence as well as five gun possession charges. Lloyd was found in an industrial park with multiple gun shots to his back and chest. He was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.
This latest trial went on for a month with the jury deliberating for six days coming back with a not guilty finding on all charges except one. Jury foreperson Lindsey Stringer simply told reporters asking for a comment that they “based our decision on the evidence presented and the law.” They jury otherwise declined to comment. One of Hernandez’s lawyers, Ronald Sullivan, told reporters that the “actual perpetrator of this crime was given immunity by the Commonwealth. He [Hernandez] was charged with something that someone else did.” Sullivan was referring to the star prosecution witness Alexander Bradley. His testimony was part of an immunity deal.
Hernandez was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012. In Bradley’s testimony, he described the night he was driving Hernandez’ Toyota 4Runner. He claimed that the star athlete reached across him to shot five times into the victims’ BMW. Bradley is an admitted drug dealer serving time in a Connecticut jail for shooting up a club in Hartford.
The defense told another story about a drug deal gone bad. District Attorney Daniel F. Conley fought that accusation, stating the victims were hard working immigrants. Conley said, “These were two hard-working, humble Cape Verdean immigrants trying to make a life here in this country. These were two good young men whose lives were ruthlessly and senselessly taken.”
Bradley, whose testimony carried on for over three days, described to jurors a different side of Hernandez that the public did not know. He said Hernandez was a madly spontaneous athlete that would turn to anger over the smallest issues. One of these violent rages came two hours before the shooting at Cure Lounge. Bradley claims that de Abreu bumped into Hernandez, spilling some of his drink on him without an apology. This motivated the drive-by shooting a few short hours later.
Bradley went on to explain that Hernandez turned extremely paranoid after the incident, prohibiting friends from using iPhones around him and constantly looking for undercover detectives. He believed the police were following him with a helicopter. This paranoia caused Hernandez to shoot Bradley on February, 13, 2013 in an SUV and leave him for dead after partying in South Florida. The jury did not believe the stories Bradley had to tell, clearing Hernandez of witness intimidation and shooting at three surviving victims. The only charge the jury left Hernandez with as illegal gun possession, which he will serve four to five years in prison for.
The trial had over 60 witnesses but relied heavily on Bradley. Hernandez’s lead attorney Jose Baez continually attacked the credibility of Bradley, known as Rocky because he “rocks people to sleep.” He also highlighted the treatment Hernandez received from Bradley after the Florida shooting, threatening to sue Hernandez and kill him with a weapon from his personal arsenal. Another major blow to Bradley’s credibility was from an exchange of texts with his attorney where Bradley asked if he could be charged with perjury for telling a grand jury “the truth about not being able to recall…who shot me.”
Do you think Hernandez is guilty? Tell us in the comments below.
To learn more about NFL players in trouble, read these articles:
- NFL Star Sharper Pleads Guilty to Drugging and Raping Various Women
- Ex-NFL Player Charged with Murdering Cellmate
- NFL Star Johnny Manziel Indicted for Assault
Cover Photo: inquisitr.com
Hernandez Football Photo: simple.wikipedia.org