Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of double-homicide for a 2012 drive-by killing of two men following an altercation in a Boston nightclub. The only charge the Boston jury did convict Hernandez of today was illegal possession of a firearm. As a result, the judge added a maximum of five additional years to Hernandez's lifetime sentence.
The prosecution's star witness was Alexander Bradley, a local drug dealer—who is also currently in jail—and former close friend of Hernandez. Bradley testified that he was with Hernandez on the night Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were shot and killed. Bailey claimed that Hernandez became incensed when de Abreu disrespected him by bumping into him in a night club, and spilling his drink. Bailey said Hernandez saw de Abreu and his crew driving later that night and fired five shots into the car. Bradley also claimed that months later Hernandez tried to kill him. Bailey described being shot in the face and being left to die on the side of the road. He somehow made it to a hospital and survived.
Hernandez's team argued that Bradley was the triggerman, not Hernandez. After deliberating for 37 hours over six days, the jury apparently felt the defense created enough doubt to acquit him, and read the verdict out loud to a relieved Hernandez:
The former tight end for the New England Patriots wept quietly as the verdicts were read in Boston. A few moments later, he looked back at his fiancee and nodded somberly as relatives of the victims sobbed loudly. A defense attorney hugged him.
This brings the total number of murders for which Aaron Hernandez has been convicted to one. He is currently serving a lifetime sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating his fiancee's sister.