BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Jurors in the double murder trial of ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez will begin their deliberations Friday after more than a month of testimony about a crime prosecutors that say was fueled by anger over a spilled drink.
Closing arguments were heard Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court. Afterward, Judge Jeffrey Locke spent about two hours giving the jury instructions, and will speak to jurors again Friday morning before they are handed the case.
The former New England Patriots tight end is charged in the fatal shootings of two men after a brief encounter at a Boston nightclub. Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were gunned down on July 16, 2012, as they waited in a car at a stop light.
The state argued in its closing statement that Hernandez killed the two men because he had “an illogical sense of being disrespected.”
Prosecutor Patrick Haggan told jurors Hernandez killed de Abreu and Furtado after de Abreu bumped into him at the nightclub and spilled his drink on him. He said Hernandez became enraged because he saw it as a sign of disrespect.
Haggan told jurors Thursday: “You know who the killer is.”
Earlier in the morning, defense lawyer Jose Baez told jurors that prosecutors made a “deal with the devil” when they agreed to give immunity to Hernandez’s former friend, Alexander Bradley.
“There is absolutely no evidence that Aaron Hernandez committed this crime,” Baez said.
Baez said Bradley got the “deal of a lifetime” for claiming that Hernandez shot two men after the nightclub encounter.
Hernandez is charged with witness intimidation for allegedly shooting Bradley in the face months after the killings in an attempt to silence him as a witness.
At one point, Baez asked Hernandez to stand up as he recalled that a streetsweeper and others said they saw a female at the murder scene.
“He doesn’t look like a female in any stretch of the imagination,” Baez said.
Hernandez already is serving life in prison for the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez, now 27, grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, and played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. About six weeks after Furtado and de Abreu were killed,
Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots and went on to play another season before Lloyd was killed.
He was cut from the team shortly after he was arrested in Lloyd’s killed in June 2013. He was not charged in the 2012 killings until 2014.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports:
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