A Closer Look at the Next Aaron Hernandez Murder Trial
When a verdict is finally met in the trial of Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd, it won’t be long before the former Patriots star will have to do it all over again.
The trial of former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd is eight weeks in, with prosecution closing in on resting its case. Jurors and viewers have heard testimony from ballistics experts, witnesses, and family members. Jurors have toured the scene of the crime and viewed detailed photos and video.
But once this trial runs its course and a verdict is reached, regardless of outcome, Aaron Hernandez’s legal team will have to go back to the drawing board for yet another homicide trial for the embattled football star.
On June 27, 2013 — one day after Hernandez was arrested and charged with murdering Lloyd — investigators suggested that Hernandez was possibly connected to a double murder that took place in July of 2012 in Boston’s South End.
In the early morning hours of July 16, 2012, Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28 — both residents of Dorchester — were shot to death in their BMW sedan. Following a lengthy investigation, on May 15, 2014, Hernandez was indicted in the murders of De Abreu and Furtado, as well as charges of armed assault and attempted murder (he allegedly fired shots at the vehicle’s three surviving occupants, one that was shot and two that fled the scene) .
If this is news to you, or if this has become buried under the deluge of current Hernandez trial information you’ve seen as of late, allow us to explain the events that led to the murder charges.
Before we get to what allegedly happened that night, we should run down the players. First, the victims.
De Abreu and Furtado were close friends, and both attended school and served in the military in Cape Verde before coming to the United States. Furtado worked as a tour guide in Cape Verde before arriving in Dorchester five months prior to the shooting to reconnect with his mother and sister. De Abreu was a police officer in the island country located in the central Atlantic Ocean about 350 miles off the coast of West Aftrica, and arrived in Dorchester around 2008. They became friends while working for a local cleaning company. Their families are also each suing Hernandez in a civil suit for $6 million. In May of 2014, a spokesman for the family told the Boston Herald that the pair had come to America “to make a better life for themselves,’’ and that they were not gang members, drug dealers or troublemakers.
A third man, Aquilino Freire, was shot in the car but survived the attack.
Another player in this case is Hernandez’s friend, Alexander Bradley, who was with the former Patriot the night of the double shooting. In addition to his connection to this case, Bradley has filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez for allegedly shooting him in the face during an argument outside of a Miami club in February of 2013. Bradley, from Connecticut, is a convicted felon who served time for cocaine distribution, and was arrested on a charge of felony burglary two months after the Florida shooting incident with Hernandez. He also faces gun charges for firing a stolen gun outside of a Hartford, Connecticut bar.
Lastly, we have Sharif Hashem, a security supervisor at Boston’s Rumor nightclub. He called North Attleboro Police on June 22, 2013 — five days after the murder of Lloyd — claiming to have information that connected the murder of Lloyd to a double homicide in Boston, stating that a bar patron “accidentally spilled the beans’’ in front of him.
As a result of this call, Boston police reopened their investigation of the South End shootings with a focus on Hernandez, who was previously spotted on surveillance footage on the night of the double murder.
As for what authorities say happened that night, it seems De Abreu and Safiro lost their lives over a spilled drink and a lack of an apology.
Hernandez and Bradley are seen on surveillance tapes entering Cure, a Boston nightclub, around 12:30 a.m. The victims were already inside the nightclub. According to prosecutors at Hernandez’s arraignment, Hernandez and Bradley — who had driven from Connecticut — were standing at the edge of the dance floor when De Abreu unintentionally bumped into Hernandez, smiled, and failed to apologize.
Suffolk County first assistant district attorney Patrick Haggan believes De Abreu did not recognize Hernandez (his stepbrother told FOX25 that De Abreu did not watch football) or realize he was upset.
Hernandez told an associate that De Abreu had bumped him on purpose and “was trying him,’’ according to Haggan. Hernandez and Bradley then left Cure approximately 10 minutes later, and surveillance footage shows Hernandez leaving a parking garage in a Toyota 4Runner with Rhode Island plates around 1:15 a.m.
By the time De Abreu and Furtado left Cure, a car closely resembling Hernandez’s 4Runner was back in the area. As they walked back to the BMW, the 4Runner was seen driving around the block, close to the eventual victims at a slow speed.
The 4Runner followed De Abreau and Furtado before pulling up beside the BMW at a red light. Hernandez, according to Haggan, leaned out of the driver’s side, uttered a racial slur, and then fired at least five shots into the car, killing the victims and injuring Freire. The shooting was not captured on any surveillance cameras.
Boston Police officers responded to gunshots at 2:32 a.m.. Bystanders gave police descriptions very closely matching Hernandez and Bradley when informing police of the shooting, which happened near the intersection of Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street.
Evidence at the scene of the shooting led authorities to believe the weapon used was either a .38 or .357 caliber firearm. On June 21, 2014, a .38 caliber pistol was seized as evidence in the case after it was found in the trunk of a car driven by a Bristol woman after an accident in Springfield.
Court documents show that the weapon was in a black suitcase along with three rounds of ammunition. According to a CBS affiliate in Springfield, State police sources say the gun was sent for ballistics testing and was a positive match with bullets found at the scene of the 2012 shootings. Jai Lene Diaz-Ramos, who faces three illegal firearms charges, claimed friends put the gun in her car.
One week after police seized the alleged murder weapon, they recovered a silver 4Runner with Rhode Island plates at the Bristol home of Hernandez’s uncle that may be connected to the shootings. Authorities said the silver SUV was sitting in the garage for a year and covered in cobwebs. A cousin of Hernandez, who lived at the Bristol home, said nobody drove the truck but Hernandez. The vehicle was from a Rhode Island auto dealer that Hernandez received in return for promotional work.
The current Hernandez trial has showcased a lot of circumstantial evidence and no murder weapon has surfaced. That is in stark contrast to the forthcoming trial, which has surveillance video placing Hernandez near the crime scene, eyewitness accounts, and an alleged murder weapon.
There is currently no timetable for the start or location of this trial, but it will likely begin shortly after a verdict is reached in the current trial being held at Bristol Superior Court in Fall River.
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