BOSTON (CBS) — The prosecution in the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial rested its case Monday morning, and the defense began calling witnesses–including a man who drove a street sweeper past the scene of the shooting at the heart of the case.
Hernandez is accused of killing two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, outside the Cure lounge in Boston’s South End in 2012.
Last month, in a testy exchange without jurors present, McMaster testified that he drove past the murder scene while on the job the morning of July 16, 2012 and said he told police that he saw other people next to Abreu and Furtado’s SUV after the two men were shot.
He claims to have seen a white SUV with a woman holding a recording device of some sort, standing out of the top.
It was an account police said they hadn’t heard from McMaster at the scene–and one that the defense accused prosecutors of having kept from them.
McMaster said police were rude and disrespectful at the scene, telling him to shut his mouth and stay quiet. Fearing he had disturbed the crime scene with his sweeper, police made him empty it’s contents nearby, and sifted through them.
McMaster also claimed that, on a separate occasion, one of the officers who was at the shooting scene yelled at him and grabbed his shirt–but Judge Jeffrey Locke told jurors that testimony would be stricken from the record.
The ex-NFL star’s family was present in court for a second day.
Antoine Salvador, a student who was present at Cure the night of the murders and who asked Hernandez for a photo there, also testified Monday.
Salvador said Hernandez declined at first, but agreed because it was Salvador’s birthday.
He said he did not see anyone bump into Hernandez.
When Salvador later saw Hernandez again on Stuart Street within the half hour before the murders, he said Hernandez did not appear to be angry or upset.
TJ Gargasz, the manager of a Florida strip club called Tootsies that Hernandez frequented, testified Monday afternoon.
The prosecution’s star witness to the shooting of Abreu and Furtado, Alexander Bradley, claims he was with Hernandez the night of the shootings and saw him pull the trigger. He also claims Hernandez shot him six months later in Florida–after visiting Gargasz’s club.
But Gargasz said Hernandez was always “polite” and “well-spoken” in the club.
Before the prosecution rested Monday morning, they called one last-minute witness: Robert Settana, a Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office investigator.
Settana confirmed that the security cameras at Cure were in sync, except for one that was behind by 56 seconds.
Prosecutors claim Hernandez shot the men over an incident in the club in which a drink was spilled.
But under cross examination from Hernandez’s defense lawyers, Settana said his hours of reviewing the Cure lounge security footage did not show anyone spilling a drink there.
Testimony ended early Monday. The defense said they had more witnesses to call, but those witnesses wouldn’t be available until Wednesday–so, jurors would have the day off Tuesday.
Judge Locke said testimony was expected to finish Wednesday, with closing arguments possibly taking place on Thursday.
Hernandez is already facing life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
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