A Suffolk County, Massachusetts grand jury has indicted Aaron Hernandez on two new counts of first-degree murder. District Attorney Daniel Conley described the murder of two Cape Verdean immigrants as an “ambush” and an “execution.” “Aaron Hernandez,” he said, “fired a 38 caliber revolver multiple times,” killing Daniel deAbreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28.
The men had enjoyed a night out until a dispute over a spilled drink with Hernandez’s group at the Boston nightclub Cure. Witnesses say the shooter laughed from the backseat of an SUV as it approached the victims stopped at a red light. One other man in the victims’ SUV was shot while two backseat passengers escaped without injury.
The mysterious killings remained a mystery until after Hernandez’s arrest in the June 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd. Lloyd spoke to police from the grave in the double homicide case. Investigators remembered Hernandez strangely appearing on surveillance video taken from Cure on the night of the double murders. Cops theorize that the former Patriot receiver killed Lloyd to silence him from discussing what he knew about the 2012 murders.
Police slowly compiled evidence in the deAbreu and Furtado case. Last June, authorities recovered a silver Toyota 4-Runner with Rhode Island plates from Hernandez’s uncle’s Connecticut home. The car matches the one driven by Hernandez on the night of the double murder and the one seen stalking the victims’ BMW SUV. Police in Springfield, Massachusetts also discovered a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson gun used to kill the immigrants around that same month in the trunk of a car crashed by a woman hailing from Bristol, Connecticut. The woman from Hernandez’s hometown refused to say who specifically gave her the gun but curiously described them as football players.
In January, authorities obtained a warrant to listen to jailhouse recordings of Alexander Bradley, Hernandez’s companion on the night of the double murder, speaking to third parties. Bradley alleges that Hernandez shot him in the eye in Florida in a separate 2013 incident. The gun, the witnesses, the SUV, the audio, and the video all led to the indictment, which will be unsealed at the arraignment.
“Our thoughts go out to the families,” Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans announced at Thursday’s press conference. “This was a chance encounter.”
Hernandez had signed five-year, $40 million contract extension and played a full season with the Patriots after the double murders. Patriots owner Bob Kraft labeled Hernandez a “first-class guy” after the tight end donated $50,000 to his charity in the wake of the contract.
“He didn’t need to give me the amount that he gave me, and knowing that he thinks I deserve that, he trusts me to make the right decisions, it means a lot,” Hernandez then said of team owner Robert Kraft. “It means he trusts my character, and the person I am, which means a lot, cause my mother, that’s how she wanted to raise me. They have to trust you to give you that money. I just feel a lot of respect and I owe it back to him. Not only is it $50,000, cause that’s not really, that’s just the money that really doesn’t mean much, with the amount given, it’s more, I have a lot more to give back, and all I can do is play my heart out for them, make the right decisions, and live life as a Patriot.”