BOSTON (CBS) — The Aaron Hernandez double murder trial was back in session Wednesday after testimony was pushed back a day due to Tuesday’s blizzard.
But first, Hernandez’s tattoo artist, David Nelson, was questioned by attorneys to determine if his testimony would be allowed at trial. Jurors were not present for the questioning.
The ex-NFL star is accused in the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.
Prosecutors asked Nelson about tattoos Hernandez requested–and Nelson gave–about eight months after Abreu and Furtado were shot to death.
On the stand during a voir dire session Wednesday morning, Nelson testified that Hernandez came into the studio where he was working in California twice.
On the first occasion, Nelson said Hernandez came in with his girlfriend and got a tattoo that said “Remind me that we’ll always have each other.”
But on the second occasion, Nelson said, he gave Hernandez tattoos of “A semi-automatic handgun, one spent shell casing, and a cylinder from a revolver with five out of the six bullets remaining.”
He also said he gave him tattoos of a semi-automatic hand gun with smoke coming from it, and the words “God Forgives” written backward so that they can be read in the mirror.
Prosecutors argue the tattoos are a confession.
They are particularly interested in the five bullets depicted in the cylinder, alleging Hernandez fired at the BMW in which Furtado and Abreu were killed five times.
During the voir dire, defense attorneys questioned Nelson about discrepancies between answers he gave Wednesday and answers he gave in a previous 2014 interview with detectives about the tattoos.
In 2014, Nelson told detectives he didn’t think he gave Hernandez the “God Forgives” tattoo.
The defense also argues Hernandez didn’t request a specific number of bullets–just that he wanted one chamber empty.
Regardless of whether or not Judge Jeffrey Locke decides jurors get to hear Nelson’s testimony, they have already seen the images of Hernandez’s tattoos.
After the questioning, testimony resumed as prosecutors tried to link the alleged murder weapon, which was the focus of Monday’s testimony, to both Hernandez and the shooting of Abreu and Furtado.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports