The jury in the double murder case of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez visited the Cure nightclub on Friday morning along with other places important to the theory of the prosecution’s case. The former New England Patriots player was 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. He is now facing additional charges for the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado on July 16, 2012.
The Judge ruled only one file, one photographer, and one videographer were allowed to join the buses in an effort to likely avoid a media circus.
“This is going to be your one opportunity to make first hand observations of these places we have started to hear about in the courtroom,” Assistant District Attorney Teresa Anderson told the jury panel of 9 female and six male jurors as they left to view the scenes, including the club and the murder scene, according to the Boston Globe. Jurors also took a look at the silver 4Runner SUV prosecutors allege Hernandez shot from.
Earlier in the week, lead Prosecutor Pat Haggan said Hernandez was out on the town with a convicted cocaine dealer and they headed to the Cure nightclub when Hernandez was bumped by de Abreu and a drink spilled as a result of the physical contact. Abreu, according to prosectors, did not think much of the incident and did not apologize to Hernandez. Haggan said this was taken as a lack of respect by Hernandez, while most people wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
He then told jurors video surveillance outside a club shows Alexander Bradley, a one-time friend of Hernandez’s, pleading with the NFL star to calm down. After spending several hours at more clubs, Haggan said Hernandez retrieved a gun from a secret compartment in his vehicle and began circling the area, essentially hunting de Abreu and his crew. Unfortunately for de Abreu, prosecutors allege Hernandez located him, running a red light in the process to pull up besides de Abreu’s vehicle. He then allegedly called the man’s name.
According to Haggan, Bradley soon flipped against Hernandez, and plans to take the stand to say what allegedly happened next. He will testify Hernandez pulled up and said, “Yo, what’s up now?” Bradley is then expected to accuse Hernandez of shouting a racial slur before leaning across the driver’s seat and firing five shots into de Abreau vehicle. In addition to killing de Abreu, Hernandez allegedly killed Furtado, a passenger in the car. A third passenger in the backseat was struck with two bullets, and then Hernandez’s gun allegedly ran out of ammo and he vanished off of down the Mass Turnpike.
After jurors returned to the courthouse on Friday, two responding officers took the stand and defense attorney Jose Baez blistered them on cross-examination for not properly preserving evidence or protecting the crime scene. He suggested they destroyed potentially key evidence by covering the bodies with cloths and making other basic forensic mistakes. Baez also tried to convince jurors there was no place based on the seating position of the vehicles that Hernandez could’ve take the fatal shots, rathe it would have had to have been the driver, Bradley.
Cure manager Zeid Nabulsi was the final prosecution witness to take the stand one Friday — and the thirtieth prosecution witness called overall, thus far. He identified various photographs taken by surveillance cameras on the night of the murders. However, he testified that he was unable to locate the hard drive that contained the video that prosecutors believe must have shown the actual “bumping” and drink spilling incident at the club that allegedly set this whole scenario in motion, according to prosecutors. The defense team hit back hard on this point and essentially kept Nabulsi sweating on the stand the remainder if the day.
Trial is expected to begin again at 9:00 AM on Monday morning.
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