Photo by Jeffrey Beall
BOSTON (CN) – Pointing to Aaron Hernandez’s “God Forgives” tattoo before the jury began deliberations on his double-murder charges Thursday, prosecutors said the evidence against the former football pro is clear.
“Speak the truth through your verdict,” said Suffolk First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan. “You know who committed this crime. The why will never make sense to you.”
Hernandez, 27, is already serving life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. After his arrest in that case, which ended the tight end’s career with the New England Patriots, Boston prosecutors charged him with carrying out a fatal drive-by in the city’s South End.
Alexander Bradley testified earlier in the trial that he had been driving his 2006 4Runner on the night of the murder when Hernandez leaned across him and opened fire on a BMW in the road.
Daniel De Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two of the car’s five passengers, were killed.
Just minutes before the shooting, all of the men had been at the nightclub Cure. Prosecutors say Hernandez shot at the men because De Abreu of them had bumped into him at the club, spilling his drink.
Though there is no footage of the actual shooting, or the clumsiness that supposedly sparked it, Haggan reminded the jury of evidence from the five-week trial that police recovered the vehicle and the murder weapon after Hernandez had a family member hide them.
Hernandez got a tattoo after the shooting of a gun with five bullets in the chamber and the phrase “God forgives” written below.
“What is he asking God to forgive?” asked Haggan. “That is a confession, but this is not a church. It’s a courtroom.”
Hernandez’s defense, led by the onetime Florida attorney of Casey Anthony, wants the jury to consider that it was Bradley who pulled the trigger.
“There is absolutely no evidence that Aaron Hernandez committed this crime,” Jose Baez argued earlier Thursday. “What transpired down in the Cure Lounge is the foundation of this case. The fact that there is zero video of the actual inside of the cure night club should tell you something.”
To undermine the claim that Hernandez had a drink spilled on him, Baez clung to a photo of Hernandez posing with a fan at Cure, as well as testimony from the man in the picture and another frequent patron of the bar.
He questioned why Bradley is the only witness to the supposed spilled drink, and why surveillance cameras failed to capture the fateful bump.
Bradley did not point the finger at Hernandez until after Odin Lloyd’s fatal shooting.
In the months leading up to that carnage, Bradley lost his right eye to a shooting he says Hernandez carried out to keep him quiet.
Hernandez’s phone shows that he and Bradley exchanged hundreds of text messages about the 2012 drive-by in the months after Bradley was shot.
Defense attorney Baez criticized the immunity deals that prosecutors gave Bradley as well as to those who may have been involved in Bradley’s shooting.
“They’re handing out immunity like it’s candy on Halloween,” said Baez. “That’s not how you build a case.”
The jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon. In the Odin Lloyd murder, the jury deliberated for seven days before convicting Hernandez.
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