A jury cleared Aaron Hernandez of a double murder charge when they found the former football star innocent in the killings of two Boston men who died in a drive-by shooting.
A jury in Boston found Hernandez innocent of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado following an incident at a Boston nightclub in 2012. Prosecutors said de Abreu accidentally bumped into Hernandez while dancing, and Hernandez spilled his drink. Prosecutors alleged Hernandez, angered at what he considered a sign of disrespected, killed both men in a drive-by shooting in the early morning hours of July 16, 2012 as they sat in their car at a stoplight.
The trial featured a Hernandez’s high-powered attorney, Jose Baez, known for gaining an acquittal in the Casey Anthony case and a one-eyed drug dealer and key witness for the prosecution named Alexander Bailey who said Hernandez shot him in the face and blinded him because he knew too much about the double-killing.
At issue is what happened on the that July night. Hernandez and Bailey went to a club together when the incident occurred. Bradley a jailed drug dealer testifying with immunity, said he was driving a car with Hernandez as a passenger when the former football player reached across and pumped five shots into the car carrying the two victims.
Hernandez’s defense team claimed Bradley was a tainted witness and tried to pin the killings on him. The defense also said there were inconsistencies in the testimony. While prosecutors said five bullets were shot into the car, a forensics’ expect said there were actually six.
Hernandez’s fall from grace was already complete. He’s still serving a life sentence for the 2012 murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors in that case believe Lloyd was killed because he knew too much about the double-shooting of de Abreu and Furtado.
Hernandez was once so highly thought of that, in 2012, the New England Patriots signed him a five-year, $40 million contract extension with a $12.5 million signing bonus. That contract was voided long ago.