Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez this week was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for a 2012 double-murder in Boston. A grand jury released the indictments on Thursday.
The charges stem from murders that took place in July 2012. Hernandez is accused of shooting and killing Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, both immigrants living in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley announced the indictment on Thursday, stating that police and prosecutors have been investigating the murders for two years.
According to Conley, Hernandez had met Abreu and Furtado at a club called Cure in the early morning hours of July 16, 2012. The two men were later shot and killed while waiting at a traffic light on Boston's Shawmut Avenue. Prosecutors allege that Hernandez had followed the victims from the club before pulling alongside their vehicle and firing a .38 caliber revolver into the vehicle.
In addition to the two murder charges, Hernandez has also been charged three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, one count of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, and one count of illegally possessing the handgun used in the shooting. Three passengers in the vehicle with Abreu and Furtado survived the shooting, one of whom was injured.
"“For us, this case was never about Aaron Hernandez," said Conley. "This case was about two victims who were stalked, ambushed, and senselessly murdered on the streets of the city they called home. I assigned this case to First Assistant DA Patrick Haggan on the very morning of their murders – not because we knew where the evidence would take us, but because it was a double homicide with few leads and well-suited to his strengths as a prosecutor."
Conley made it clear that prosecutors have a strong case against Hernandez. More than two dozen witnesses testified before the grand jury. In addition, both the car Hernandez was driving the night and the murder weapon were recovered from people close to Hernandez.
Hernandez is already in jail, pending trial for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to that charge.
Image via Wikimedia Commons