Aaron Hernandez’s 2012 double murder trial finally started on Tuesday, with both the prosecution and defense sharing their opening statements. This may prove to be a pretty interesting trial just based on the case that each side is trying to make. According to the Boston Globe, the prosecution painted the former New England Patriots tight end as a ruthless killer with impeccable aim. Meanwhile, Hernandez’s defense argued that he wasn’t the shooter and instead, his only crime was falling in with the wrong crowd.
Prosecutors claim that Aaron Hernandez murdered Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2012 after the former NFL star interpreted a spilled drink and a bumped shoulder in a club as disrespect. First Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Patrick Haggan said in his opening statement that the prosecution believes that a furious Hernandez left the Cure Lounge after the run in with the victims in search of the two men. When he found them sitting in a car on South Street in Boston, the prosecution argues that Hernandez opened fire on the two men, shooting them with a.38 caliber pistol.
The evidence for the prosecution, which will be revealed as the trial moves forward, includes the SUV that Aaron Hernandez was driving on the day of the shootings. It was recovered later in the garage of a family member. The gun that was used in the crime was also found on another person with ties to Hernandez.
There is also the star witness for the prosecution, Alexander Bradley, who is ready to testify against his former friend. The prosecution claims that Bradley was driving Hernandez’s SUV when the two men pulled up on Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado at a stoplight. They say that is when Hernandez began shouting at the two men before opening fire on them.
“At that point, the defendant fired five times,'” Haggan said.
“Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Even after that gun was out of bullets, he continued to pull the revolver as it clicked and clicked. He intended to fire much more.”
Aaron Hernandez’s defense team tells an entirely different story about that night. They say that the murders of de Abreu and Safiro had nothing to do with perceived disrespect at the club earlier in the evening. Instead, Aaron’s defense attorney Jose Baez said that it was Alexander Bradley who was the shooter and it had nothing to do with an incident in the club. Baez claims that Bradley, a known drug dealer who went by Sharrod, sought out de Abreu because of a drug deal went bad.
Jose Baez also took aim at the local Boston Police who investigated the murders of de Abreu and Safiro. During the opening statement, Baez argued that local police didn’t rally care much about the case of two black men shot to death until Aaron Hernandez was implicated as the shooter. It was only after the NFL star was named as a suspect that he says investigators really even cared about the case.
Baez contends that the police investigation was botched from the start and that one of the victims’ friends was actually in the back seat of the car during the shooting. Even though the witness stood, covered in blood, to the side while police investigated, he says no one ever talked to him. Another issue that Baez has with the police investigation is that they allowed a street sweeper to come along and clean up the crime scene soon after they were done with it, possibly destroying other evidence that would have proved Aaron Hernandez innocent.
What makes it all even more interesting is that Aaron Hernandez probably would not have been implicated in the 2012 double murder at all if not for the investigation into the murder of his former friend Odin Lloyd. Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder and a handful of weapons charges.
[Featured Image by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]