The trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez resumed Thursday. Hernandez is accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado on July 16, 2012 outside a nightclub after prosecutors say he became angry over a spilled drink.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all counts in the 2012 killings.
The judge started of on Wednesday by holding a hearing on the matter of whether the prosecution can introduce Hernandez’s various tattoos as evidence in the case. The prosecution called the tattoo artist who gave Hernandez several tattoos and argued they were relevant to the murders because they contain certain evidence of guilt, and details that only the shooter would know. For example, in the mounts after the murders took place, prosecutors said Hernandez received a tattoo that says “God Forgives.” They also argued a revolver tattooed on Hernandez’s arm contained only five bullets to symbolize the five shots fired into the victim’s BMW on the night of the killings.
The defense argued the testimony should not be allowed in front of the jurors because the tattoo artist has changed his story about the tattoos several times and there is no proof that any of the tattoos are related to the murders. The defense also argued that Hernandez did not request a specific number of bullets in the weapon, he just asked that one chamber be left open.
The judge called an end to the hearing after about one hour, saying they could take up the matter again at a later time. He has not made a final decision on whether the tattoo artist can testify in front of jurors.
Jurors were then called back into the courtroom and testimony resumed with the prosecution calling even more police lab technicians, including trace evidence experts. The victim’s bloody clothing was shown to the jurors and a police detective testified that bullet fragments found at the murder scene matched the weapon used in the shooting. Crime lab analyst Amy Reynolds also testified that she could find little usable evidence in the 4Runner because the vehicle appeared to be wiped down. However, Reynolds testified that she did find some gun powder residue remaining in the vehicle. The prosecution was clearly trying to suggest it was wiped down to conceal evidence of the murder.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Jose Baez attempted to ask Reynolds if she thought it was possible that perhaps the vehicle was wiped down because it was used by someone else without Hernandez’s knowledge. The prosecution objected to the question, but Baez was apparently trying to plant a seed with the jurors that fits with the defense’s overall argument that prosecution witness Alexander Bradley was the actual shooter. Bradley is expected to testify in the case for the prosecution under a grant of immunity that he drove the vehicle on the night of the shooting.
Hernandez is already sentenced to life without the possibility of parole when he was convicted nearly two years ago in another murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. That case is on appeal.
Testimony in the trial will resume Thursday and LawNewz will have live courtroom coverage and analysis of the action.
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