Defense lawyers claim witness, not Aaron Hernandez, is killer of 2
Mar 02 2017 by Larry Hoffman
The double murder trial of former football star Aaron Hernandez is officially underway. He says Hernandez shot and killed 29-year-old Daniel de Abreu and 28-year-old Safiro Furtado all over a spilled drink at a Boston nightclub called Cure.
Baez told jurors that prosecutors were so desperate to convict Hernandez that they "made a deal with the devil", meaning Bradley.
The evidence for the prosecution, which will be revealed as the trial moves forward, includes the SUV that Aaron Hernandez was driving on the day of the shootings.
Prosecutors contend that Cape Verde nationals Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado did not realize that one of them had brushed against Hernandez at the nightclub before he followed them outside and pursued them in a vehicle before the fatal shootings.
Haggan said the nightclub encounter to most people would be "simply trivial", but Hernandez misinterpreted it as a sign of disrespect. Two hours later, Haggan said, Hernandez opened fire on the men's vehicle as they waited at a stoplight, killing both men and wounding a third man.
Bradley, who prosecutors allege Hernandez shot in the face in Florida a year later, is the prosecution's star witness.
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In his opening statement, prosecutor Patrick Haggan told the jury that Hernandez had a brief altercation with de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after one of them bumped into him. Video from outside the club shows Hernandez angry and agitated, prosecutors said.
"One world, was that of working-class immigrants, relatively recently in this country...the other world was that of a professional athlete, a celebrity in the city of Boston", Haggan said. He said prosecutors and police did not thoroughly investigate Bradley and instead fixated on Hernandez, whom they saw as a "notch in their belt". Bradley lost his right eye, but survived.
Hernandez' defense attorney, Jose Baez, painted a different picture of the night in question, casting doubt on Bradley's credibility and floating the possibility that Bradley himself could have committed the murder. He says there was no spilled drink.
"Alexander Bradley is not just a drug dealer".
In a particularly dramatic moment, Baez said de Abreu was 5-foot-7 inches tall, and then told Hernandez to stand up and show off his large, physical frame. Hernandez is also charged with witness intimidation in the case of Bradley. The defense attorney gained nationwide fame in 2011 after getting Casey Anthony acquitted of murdering her daughter.
But de Abreu's sister, Neusa Abreu, testified Wednesday that her brother did not use drugs and had never mentioned Bradley's name.