Aaron Hernandez, a former New England Patriots player, has been found not guilty of murder and several other charges related to the killing of two men back in 2012.
Hernandez was on trial for two counts of first-degree murder in the shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston’s South End on July 16, 2012.
The former NFL star faced eight counts in all, including a charge of witness intimidation for allegedly shooting his former friend in the face in an attempt to silence him. The only charge Hernandez was not acquitted of was possession of a firearm without a license.
The jurors reportedly deliberated for almost six days and about 36 hours before reaching the verdict on Friday.
“He was charged for something somebody else did, and that is a weighty burden for anyone to shoulder,” Ronald Sullivan, Hernandez’s attorney, said.
The trial stems from a 2012 shooting, that began in a nightclub that Hernandez was in. According to Alexander Bradley, who was with Hernandez on the night of the shooting, the former NFL athlete became angry when a man bumped into him at a nightclub and made him spill his drink. Later that night, Hernandez asked Bradley to drive up next to the man’s vehicle at a stopped light.
Upon doing so, Hernandez reached over Bradley and fired five shots into the man’s car, killing Furtado and de Abreu.
For the gun possession charge, Hernandez received 4-5 years in prison. He is currently serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez’s professional football career came to an end following Lloyd’s murder. Lloyd, who was the boyfriend of Hernandez’s fiancée’s sister, was killed in an industrial park near Hernandez’s house. Ultimately, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015, although he has since appealed for a new trial in that case.