Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was ruled not guilty in a case accusing him of a 2012 double murder. Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for a murder in 2013. When the acquittal was read on Friday, Hernandez cried in a subdued fashion and nodded, as a defense attorney gave him a hug. Meanwhile, the relatives of those killed cried louder. Hernandez was found guilty of unlawful possession of a gun, which adds an extra four-year prison term on top of his life sentence without parole. Jurors took 37 hours to deliberate before the decisions were announced.
Hernandez was being tried for first-degree murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The prosecutors in the case claimed that Hernandez fired at their car because of anger over one of the men bumping into him while he was dancing, and spilling his drink at a nightclub in Boston. He was also accused of shooting Alexander Bradley, his former friend, in an attempt to keep him from witnessing. Bradley no longer has use of his right eye, but the jury acquitted him of that charge as well. Hernandez’s defense pointed at Bradley, an admitted drug dealer currently serving a five-year prison term for nightclub violence, as the murderer, although that was not agreed upon in the case.
Hernandez is in prison for murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee in 2013. That murder for which he was convicted happened about a year before the death of Abreu and Furtado. Hernandez signed a $40 million contract with the Patriots six weeks after that incident, but he was cut and his contract was voided once the news of the Lloyd killing became public. Hernandez is still only 27 years old, but due to his behavior, he has been out of professional football for four years now.