Aaron Hernandez allegedly killed two men in July 2012 because a stranger bumped into him and spilled his drink.
According to prosecutors at an arraignment on Wednesday, the former NFL player gunned down Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, following an incident at a Boston nightclub. The two men had never met Hernandez before, but the ex-New England Patriots star allegedly felt disrespected when he crossed paths with Abreu, who did not apologize for the incident.
“These homicides were as brutal as they were senseless,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said. “[de Abreu and Furtado] were out for a good time. They had no idea this was coming.”
The deceased were killed in a drive-by shooting at a red light. A third passenger was hit in the arm, while two others escaped from the vehicle.
"I think I got one in the head and one in the chest," Hernandez reportedly told a friend, as they fled the scene.
The incident is unlike the murder of Odin Lloyd, for which Hernandez has been in jail since June 26, 2013. Hernandez had a previous relationship with Lloyd, since the semi-pro football player was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.
Suffolk County First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan told the court that Hernandez had become “agitated” and was convinced that de Abreu bumped into him on purpose. Prosecutors described Hernandez as a man who was convinced that people were often “testing, trying or otherwise disrespecting him.” Last year, a Rolling Stone articled depicted Hernandez in a similar light - someone who was paranoid and carrying a gun everywhere he went.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty to seven charges, chief among them two counts of first-degree murder. His lawyer, Charles Rankin, criticized the arraignment, calling it a “spectacle.”
The prosecution detailed its evidence against Hernandez, including eyewitness testimony and video surveillance. The murder weapon has been recovered, as well as the vehicle that Hernandez alleged drove during the shooting.
If found guilty of the double murder, Hernandez would have played an entire NFL season just a few months after killing two people. He was arrested before the start of the 2013 season for the murder of Lloyd.