The Crimes of Aaron Hernandez

Former NFL Star Charged With Murder

Aaron Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez in Court. © Getty Images

On June 26, 2013, former New England Patriots tight-end Aaron Hernandez, 23, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the June 17, 2013, murder of Odin Lloyd. Two days later Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace were also arrested and charged with Lloyd's murder.

Lloyd was a semi-professional football player with the Boston Bandits and a friend of Hernandez. The two met when Lloyd began dating Hernandez's girlfriend's sister.

His bullet-ridden body was found by a jogger in an industrial park located within a mile of Hernandez's North Attleborough, Massachusetts home.

At the time of his arrest Hernandez was under a $40 million dollar five-year contract extension with the Patriots. The Patriots released him 90 minutes after his arrest.

Here are the latest developments:

Hernandez Double-Murder Trial Delayed

Oct. 15, 2015 - The double-murder trial of former Florida Gator and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been delayed due to a motion by prosecutors to obtain evidence that is in the possession of the defendant's former attorneys.

Prosecutors are trying to get a cell phone that Hernandez gave to one of his previous attorneys in June 2013, about a year after the murders of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu in July 2012.

The hearing concerning the cell phone was held in the Judge's chambers behind closed doors.

A police officer involved in the case told reporters the issue concerned Hernandez's phone.

Hernandez is serving a life sentence for his conviction in the death of Odin Lloyd in June 2013. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee at the time of his murder.

Furtado and Abreu died after an incident in the Boston nightclub over a spilled drink.

Hernandez Friend Has Immunity

Aug. 25, 2015 - A filing in a Florida civil case turned out to contain bad news for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in a double-murder case. A friend of Hernandez who was riding with him the night two men were killed has been granted immunity by prosecutors.

Hernandez is scheduled to go on trial in December for the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, two men who were shot and killed over a spilled drink in a Boston bar. Alexander Bradley, a man investigators believe was in the car with Hernandez when he shot at the two men in another vehicle, has apparently been granted immunity in the double murder by prosecutors.

Lawyers for Bradley told reporters that they gave notice to Hernandez's lawyers in a Florida civil lawsuit that they had received an agreement for immunity from Boston prosecutors, although Suffolk prosecutors did not confirm the deal.

Hernandez Wants Evidence Suppressed

Aug. 4, 2015 - Attorneys for former Florida Gator and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez have filed a motion to suppress evidence in his Boston double-murder case. The evidence was seized from the vehicle Hernandez was in when the two men were shot.

Hernandez is accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after a drink was spilled in a Boston nightclub in 2012.

The defense attorneys argued in the motion filed this week that the evidence from the Toyota 4Runner should be thrown out because a witness that police relied upon to get a search warrant for the vehicle later failed a lie detector test.

Hernandez Pleads Not Guilty

May 21, 2015 - Convicted killer Aaron Hernandez has entered a not guilty plea to charges of witness intimidation. The former New England Patriots and Florida Gator tight end is accused of shooting Alexander Bradley in the face in 2013.

Boston Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan told the court that Hernandez shot Bradley the night after Bradley said something about a double murder in which Hernandez is accused of killing two men in a vehicle over a spilled bar drink.

The shooting took place in Florida where Bradley has filed a lawsuit against Hernandez due to the loss of one eye as a result of the shooting.

Aaron Hernandez Faces New Charge

May 11, 2015 - Convicted killer Aaron Hernandez has been indicted on charges of witness intimidation in connection with an incident in which he shot a friend in the face and left him for dead. The former New England Patriots tight end is accused of intimidating a witness to two Boston murders with which he is also charged.

According to court records, the victim in the witness intimidation cases is former Hernandez friend, Alexander Bradley, who reportedly witnessed the July 16, 2012 Boston homicides.

According to Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, Hernandez shot Bradley after he mentioned the Boston homicides while the two were at a strip club in Miami on Feb. 13, 2013.

After leaving the club, the two again got into an argument and Bradley made some "disrespectful remarks" about Hernandez.

"Shortly thereafter, the car pulled over in an isolated industrial area, where Bradley was shot between the eyes. The defendant exited the car and quickly dumped Bradley's body on the ground before fleeing the scene," according to court papers.

People who worked in the area quickly found the wounded Bradley who lost an eye but survived the shooting. He later filed a lawsuit against Hernandez.

Hernandez Guilty of First-Degree Murder

April 15, 2015 - Former Florida Gator and New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez has been found guilty of the first-degree murder Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister. The Massachusetts jury returned the guilty verdict in the seventh day of deliberations.

Hernandez was also convicted on charges of illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

When the verdict was announced, Hernandez's fiancee and mother audibly gasped and sobbed. Hernandez did not appear to show any emotion.

As the verdicts were being read, Hernandez shook his head and appeared to mouth the words, "You're wrong" toward the jury box.

The 25-year-old, who was under a $40 million contract with the Patriots before his arrest, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Jury Deliberations - What Will Be Decided

April 7, 2015 - After closing arguments were given in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial at Bristol Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, Judge Susan Garsh gave the jury 15 minutes of instructions before sending them into deliberations.

The jury now has to reach a unanimous verdict on all charges against Hernandez.

As to the murder charges, the jury has three choices, guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or not guilty.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, the jury believes that Hernandez acted “with deliberately premeditated malice aforethought,” and that his actions were of “extreme atrocity and cruelty." He will receive a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The jury could find him guilty of second-degree murder, meaning that the jury believes Hernandez killed Lloyd, but that is was not premeditated or with “extreme atrocity and cruelty." If found guilty of second-degree murder he will receive a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

If the jury finds Hernandez not guilty, he is still facing prison time for the charges of unlawful possession of guns and ammunition, which could result in a sentence of five to 10 years.

Closing Arguments

April 7, 2015 - The jury in Aaron Hernandez's murder trial began deliberations after hearing for the first time that Hernandez was present during the murder of Odin Lloyd. The disclosure was made by defense lawyer James Sultan during his closing arguments.

"Did he make all the right decisions? No," said Jamie Sultan during his closing arguments. "He was a 23-year-old kid who witnessed a shocking killing, committed by someone he knew. He didn't know what to do, so he just put one foot in front of the other."

Sultan said that the prosecution never proved any evidence or motive as to why Hernandez would risk his NFL career and kill his friend and future brother-in-law.

Sultan asked the jury to find Hernandez not guilty and suggested that co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were responsible for murdering Lloyd. Wallace and Ortiz have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and are awaiting trial.

Prosecution's Closing Arguments

Assistant District Attorney William McCauley began his closing arguments by urging the jurors to look at all the evidence. 

"If you do that, you'll get to where you need to go, which is to find the defendant guilty for the murder of Odin Lloyd," McCauley said.

McCauley disputed Sultan's claim that Hernandez and Lloyd were friends, instead describing the relationship as being "all about marijuana" and that Lloyd was just one of a group of dealers that Hernandez knew, suggesting that Lloyd was nonessential.

He referenced video footage which showed Hernandez searching his car for evidence after the shooting and then escorting Wallace and Ortiz into his home.

McCauley told the jury to consider Hernandez's appearing to be in a good mood the day after the shooting. He asked the jury why, if Hernandez was upset about Wallace and Ortiz murdering his friend, would he be having a good time with them at his home the next day?

Ex-Friend of Hernandez, Alexander Bradley Testifies for the Prosecution

April 1, 2015 - Alexander Bradley, a former friend of Aaron Hernandez, testified in the Hernandez's murder trial that he saw Hernandez with a black Glock gun when he visited him in Florida in 2013. This is the same type of gun used in the murder of Odin Lloyd. The actual murder weapon has never been found.

Bradley also testified that Hernandez kept a silver semi-automatic pistol and marijuana in a safe in the basement of his home in North Attleborough.

Bradley's testimony may not carry a lot of weight with the jurors due to his extensive criminal record stemming from multiple charges from incidents at local nightclubs.

Shot Over a Bar Tab

In June 2013, Bradley filed a civil lawsuit against Aaron Hernandez alleging that he shot him between the eyes in February 2013, after the two argued over a bar tab after leaving a Florida strip-club. Bradley lost his right eye as a result of the shooting. The civil suit is still pending.

Judge Susan Garsh ruled that there should not be any reference made to the law suit during Hernandez's murder trial.

Shayanna Jenkins, Hernandez's Fiancée, Testifies

March 30, 2015 - Aaron Hernandez's fiancée and the mother of his child, Shayanna Jenkins, was called by the prosecution today to testify in his murder trial.

Jenkins, who was indicted on perjury charges for her earlier testimony to the grand jury, was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony in Hernandez's murder trial.

After eight hours on the stand, Jenkins appeared to stand by her man and his defense. However, the prosecution did end up getting her to admit to a few key points that helped support the case against Hernandez.

  • Jenkins admitted that Hernandez told her to ditch a box that was in the basement of their home and that she threw it in a dumpster, but she could not remember the location of dumpster. She also testified that she did not look inside the box and that it smelled like marijuana. Prosecutors were caught off guard after hearing for the first time that Jenkins thought the box smelled like marijuana. Her testimony could create reasonable doubt to the prosecution's stand that the box contained the murder weapon.
  • Jenkins also testified that she found a black pistol in a junk drawer in their home that she described as a "black blob", but that it was a similar shape and color of a 45-caliber Glock sample used in court. And that the gun was removed from the drawer after Jenkins expressed that she was upset about it being there.
  • Jenkins admitted that on the day after Lloyd was murdered, Hernandez's told her she needed to give his co-defendant, Ernest Wallace, $500. She drove to Providence, met Wallace at a McDonalds, and handed over the money. Co-defendant, Carlos Ortiz, was in the car with Wallace when she met him. Jenkins testified that she did not know why Hernandez wanted her to give Wallace the money.

The Prosecution's Case

June 27, 2013 - During Aaron Hernandez's arraignment for the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, prosecutor William McCauley presented a detailed account of how the alleged murder transpired. Using a combination of surveillance footage, copies of text messages exchanged between Hernandez and Lloyd and Hernandez and co-defendants Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz along with security footage from Hernandez's home, McCauley put together a timeline of events that he says will prove Hernandez"orchestrated the execution" of Lloyd on June 17, 2013.

According to McCauley, Hernandez contactedWallace and Ortiz and arranged for them to go with him to pick up Lloyd at his house in Boston, then drove to an industrial park less than a mile from his home, shot Lloyd five times, then attempted to cover his tracks by turning off his home security cameras and destroying evidence.

Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd and additional gun related charges.

Charged in a Double Murder in Boston

On May 15, 2014, Hernandez was charged withtwo counts of first-degree murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The two men wereshot to death while in their car in the early morning hours of July 16, 2012 in Boston.Hernandez also has been charged with three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and one count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weaponafter firing shots at three other people who were inside the car with de Abreu and Furtado. The case is still pending.