Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, was found not guilty of murdering two men after a nightclub dispute in 2012. After hearing the verdict, Hernandez looked emotional as he hugged members of his defense team.
During the trial, prosecutors said Hernandez killed the two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, after one of the men spilled a drink on Hernandez at a nightclub. Hernandez’s friend, Alexander Bradley, testified against him and said he was with Hernandez during the nightclub dispute. Bradley also claimed he was driving Hernandez’s SUV when former NFL star fired five shots at the two men, who were in another vehicle next to them. Bradley testified that Hernandez shot him in the face to keep him quiet about the incident.
The jury, however, apparently did not find Bradley’s testimony credible. Defense attorneys said Bradley’s previous criminal history made him an unreliable witness. Bradley, who is currently in prison for an unrelated nightclub shooting, also made a deal to get immunity in exchange for testifying against Hernandez, which may have led the jury to believe he was not being completely honest.
Hernandez’s attorneys say it was Bradley, not Hernandez, who killed the two men.
Of the eight charges Hernandez was on trial for, he was only found guilty of unlawful possession of a gun. He was sentenced to additional 5 years for the crime, to be served after life sentence.
Although Hernandez is serving life in prison without parole for the murder of his friend, Odin Lloyd, defense attorney Ronald Sullivan told CNN this case was still important to Hernandez: “He was charged for something somebody else did, and that is a weighty burden for anyone to shoulder.”
Here is footage of Hernandez learning the verdict:
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