Aaron Hernandez has been arraigned on charges of murdering Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtardo in Boston in 2012. There was a highly charged atmosphere in the courtroom in the Suffolk Superior Court with many of Hernandez’s supporters present. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to both murders.
Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtardo were killed in Boston’s South End on July 16, 2012. Abreu was shot in the chest and Furtardo was shot in the head. A third man was also injured in the attack.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Trouble Started Over a Spilled Drink
According to prosecutors, Hernadnez’s trouble began when Daniel Abreu bumped into him at the Cure Lounge on Tremont Street, causing the former-NFL star to spill his drink. Reports had indicated that Hernandez had never met either Abreu or Furtardo before that night. Earlier in May, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said:
These men were ambushed and executed as they drove home along Shawmut Avenue. Neither of the victims were involved in gangs, gun or violence of any kind. Their chance encounter inside a club triggered a series of events that culminated in these murders.
Prosecutor Patrick Haggan said that a witness told investigators that Abreu spilled Hernandez drink, smiled and didn’t apologize. Hernandez and an associate are said to have followed Abreu and Furtardo out of the club. When the two victims drove away, Hernandez is alleged to have pulled up alongside them, and opened fire.
2. Hernandez Was Paranoid at the Time
— Josh Brogadir (@joshbNECN) May 15, 2014
Prosecutors also alleged that in the weeks prior to the shooting, Hernandez had been growing increasingly agitated with the attention he was getting when he was out at clubs. It was also alleged that Hernandez’s paranoia had led him to believe Abreu was following him.
3. Hernandez’s Cousin is Also Implicated
Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton is accused of taking the car that Hernandez was driving in on the morning after the shooting. While she picked up the car, Hernandez was checking media reports about the shooting. Prosecutors stated that Singleton drove the car to her home and left it there. When investigators found the vehicle, it was covered in cobwebs and had a dead battery. The car was loaned to Hernandez from a car dealership in Rhode Island.
— FOX 25 News Boston (@fox25news) May 28, 2014
4. Hernandez’s Lawyers Say the Arraignment Was a Circus
Hernandez’s lawyers alleged that the prosecutors had been granted too much time to speak at the arraignment. The former football star’s attorneys also argued that the court had allowed the proceedings to turn into a media circus. Lawyer Charlie Rankin said that Hernandez would not be getting a fair trial because of the prosecution laying out the charges in front of the media at the arraignment. WPRI reports that despite the new charges, Hernandez will remain jailed in Dartmouth.
5. There Were Supporters of Hernandez in the Courtroom
A tearful Shayanna Jenkins was present in the courtroom supporting Hernandez. There was no clarification from prosecutors about media reports that Hernandez had a tattoo commemorating the slayings of Abreu and Furtado.