The double-murder trial of Aaron Hernandez is off to the jury.
The former New England Patriots tight end, who already is serving a life sentence without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd, soon could be convicted of killing two more men — Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado — in a brutal 2012 drive-by killing.
Both sides gave their closing arguments Thursday, beginning with defense attorney Jose Baez.
Baez’s job was to cast doubt into the prosecution’s story, which centered around the testimony of Alexander Bradley. Hernandez allegedly shot and killed the two men at a stop light after de Abreu spilled a drink on him earlier in the night. Bradley allegedly was driving the car.
Baez also went after the prosecution for handing out plea deals, including to Bradley.
“They are handing out immunity in this case like it’s Halloween,” Baez said, via Yahoo! Sports. “Mr. Haggan is the next Oprah Winfrey: ‘You’ve got immunity, you’ve got immunity, we’ve all got immunity.’ That’s not how you build a case. You’re not the Oprah Winfrey of immunity.”
But the prosecution argued there’s sufficient evidence that Hernandez, indeed, was the killer.
“Is that murder car found at the closest relative of Alexander Bradley’s house? It’s found in a house of a relative he (Hernandez) trusts more than anybody,’’ Suffolk First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan said, via The Boston Globe. “Who is found with the murder weapon? A relative of Aaron Hernandez.’’
But, as Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel brilliantly pointed out, there could be some real problems surrounding Bradley, who’s serving a five-year prison term for an unrelated case.
“Much of the state’s case relies on the testimony of Bradley, an admitted drug trafficker and gun dealer who currently calls a Connecticut prison home. It makes for a dicey, tightrope walk of a prosecution because Bradley is one of two things:
1) A terribly compromised witness who is useful only in his ability to convict Hernandez by putting the gun in his hand and a motive in his mind.
2) The guy who actually committed the murders, but then in a twist out of Hollywood deftly duped cops and prosecutors into giving him immunity as he pinned it all on the less streetwise Hernandez. The two were best friends until, Bradley alleges, Hernandez shot Bradley in the face to shut him up about the murders (Hernandez is also charged with witness intimidation).”
Thumbnail photo via The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports Images