BOSTON (CBS) — The defense team for Aaron Hernandez formally rested their case in the ex-NFL star’s double murder trial on Wednesday, with closing arguments set to begin Thursday morning.
Earlier, a defense attorney for Hernandez said New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was served a subpoena to testify in the case, but that he wasn’t present in court Wednesday.
It’s not yet clear if Belichick will be required to come to court. A witness list released in February had Belichick’s name on it.
Defense attorney Jose Baez told WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager that Belichick was served a subpoena within the last two days, and said he doesn’t know why he’s not here. When asked if Belichick had responded through an attorney, Baez answered, “I don’t know, we’re trying to figure all that out.”
The defense spent the day calling their final two witnesses to the stand.
One of those final witnesses, a forensic expert, contested information given by previous witnesses about the number of bullets fired in the shooting at the heart of the case.
Dr. Jamie Downs told jurors he believed there were six shots fired at the two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, who ex-NFL star Hernandez is accused of killing outside of a Boston nightclub in 2012.
That goes against the testimony of several of the prosecution’s witnesses–including Hernandez’s ex-best friend Alexander Bradley, who claims he was present at the scene of the murders and says he saw Hernandez fire five shots.
Downs said the sixth shot that prosecutors do not account for grazed a passenger in the victim’s car, then shattered the car’s window.
He also said there were “two separate groupings of shots.”
Downs testified about Abreu and Furtado’s autopsy results, including his analysis of their gunshot wounds.
The defense had an attorney wear a shirt similar to the one worn by Furtado when he was murdered, and showed jurors the locations of his gunshot wounds.
As for Abreu’s wounds, Dr. Downs testified that he found them strange.
“I’ve seen wounds follow unusual patterns, but not quite that unusual,” he told the court.
Meanwhile, Abreu’s father appeared emotional while listening to Downs’ testimony about his son’s death.
Hernandez’s fiancee Shayanna Jenkins, who testified last week, was present in the courtroom.
Earlier, Hernandez’s lawyers filed yet another a motion to dismiss the case because of what they said was “perjured testimony” by Bradley–but the motion was ultimately dismissed.
Hernandez is also accused of shooting Bradley in the face and leaving him in an alley during a trip to Florida in 2013. Prosecutors say he shot Bradley because, as a witness to the murders, he had seen too much.
On March 22, while Bradley was under cross-examination, defense attorney Jose Baez asked why Bradley texted his lawyer asking if he could be held for perjury for telling the truth about not recalling anything about who shot him.
Bradley claims he didn’t tell police that Hernandez shot him because he wanted to get revenge on Hernandez personally.
There was also a morning discussion about a U.S. military serviceman who was asked to testify Wednesday via Skype. He wrote a letter to Judge Jeffrey Locke saying he did not want to testify, and Locke agreed he would not order him to appear.
The first witness called was digital forensics expert Jacob Green.
Green examined a computer belonging to Bradley’s ex girlfriend. Bradley claimed Hernandez used this computer to search for news about the shooting hours after Bradley said he killed the two men.
The more than 15 searches included “breaking Boston news” and “Aaron Hernandez address.”
Green also examined Bradley’s iPhone 5, and said several messages were deleted from that phone.
Judge Locke said closing arguments were set to begin at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Hernandez is already serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating the sister of his fiancee.
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WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports