BOSTON (CBS) – Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was indicted on first-degree murder charges Thursday in a double murder in the South End.
Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28, were killed when someone fired at the BMW they were in near the corner of Herald Street and Shawmut Avenue in the early hours of July 16, 2012.
At a news conference announcing the indictments, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Hernandez “ambushed and executed” the men after an incident at the Cure Lounge on Tremont Street in the Theater District.
Conley would not reveal details about that incident, but he and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans called it a “chance encounter” between groups of people who did not know each other. Conley did note that Abreu and Furtado had no ties to gangs.
When Abreu and Furtado left the club with three other men in a BMW, Conley said Hernandez followed them in an SUV, pulled up on the the car’s right side at a red light and then “fired a .38 caliber revolver multiple times from the driver’s side of his vehicle into the passenger’s side of the victims’ vehicle.”
Abreu and Furtado were hit multiple times. Abreu died from a gunshot wound to the chest and Furtado died from a wound to the head, according to Conley.
A third person was wounded in the arm and two others in the car ran away unharmed.
The District Attorney promised more details would come out at Hernandez’s arraignment next week.
Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton was also indicted Thursday on charges of contempt of court. Conley said Singleton was offered immunity but refused to testify against her cousin before a grand jury.
The grand jury transcript is more than 1,200 pages, according to the D.A.
At the time of the South End murders, Hernandez was still playing for the Patriots. Just a few weeks later, in August 2012, he signed a contract extension for five years, with a maximum value of $40 million.
The Patriots said Thursday they will have no comment on Hernandez, but the indictment makes it very likely that the team will seek relief from the $7.5 million cap hit Hernandez still carries for 2014.
Hernandez’s attorneys, Charles Rankin and James Sultan, issued a joint statement Thursday afternoon saying, “It is one thing to make allegations at a press conference, and another thing to prove them in a courtroom. Unlike the District Attorney, we are not going to try this case in the media. Under our system of justice, Aaron Hernandez is innocent of these charges, and he looks forward to his day in court.”
On Thursday, Abreu’s father told WBZ-TV that his son “died for nothing.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports