Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who was on trial for his alleged role in a double murder dating back to 2012, has been acquitted of the crimes.
Hernandez was accused of murdering Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. He was indicted in 2014 on two charges of first-degree murder, three charges of armed assault with intent to murder and one count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. The jury took six days of deliberation to reach their verdict.
According to the one-time football star’s former friend and drug dealer and the prosecution’s star witness, Alexander Bradley, de Abreu angered Hernandez by dancing into him and spilling a drink on him at Cure Lounge on Tremont Street in Boston before laughing and smirking at Hernandez. Bradley suggested he and Hernandez go to another club across the street once he saw how Hernandez responded – “Mr. Hernandez was upset,” he said, “the individual didn’t show respect and apologize” – when they believed they saw de Abreu again, thinking they were being followed.
According to his testimony, Bradley talked Hernandez into leaving. The two eventually got into Hernandez’s SUV and drove around the when they spotted de Abreu with his four friends getting into a BMW. Hernandez told Bradley to roll down the SUV’s windows and run a red light so they could pull up next to them. That’s when Hernandez allegedly yelled a racial slur at them and fired five shots into the car carrying the men, killing two people and injuring the other passengers.
Hernandez was also acquitted Friday of shooting Bradley in the face a few months later in an attempt to try and silence him as a witness. Bradley lost his right eye.
Hernandez, the one-time rising star in the NFL, who signed an extension worth $40 million with the Patriots in 2012, is currently serving a life sentence in prison without parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Watch everything we know about the Aaron Hernandez trial.