Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Former NFL player found not guilty in double murder trial

AFP, NEW YORK

Disgraced former football player Aaron Hernandez, who is already serving a life sentence for murder, was on Friday cleared of killing two other men in Boston in 2012.

Hernandez, 27, was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston’s South End after an altercation outside a nightclub. He pleaded not guilty.

On Friday, the jury acquitted Hernandez on seven of eight charges after reportedly deliberating for 37 hours.

He was convicted only on an illegal firearms charge. The other charges against Hernandez included armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Hernandez was overcome with emotion as the verdict was read, moving his head from side to side, wiping his eyes and weeping.

“We’re disappointed,” Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told reporters. “The jury just didn’t see it our way.”

The decision came almost exactly two years after the former New England Patriots tight end was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player in June 2013.

Defense lawyer Ronald Sullivan told reporters that Hernandez was wrongly accused.

“We are extraordinarily thankful to the jury,” Sullivan said.

The 2015 conviction cemented a spectacular fall from grace for Hernandez, who once had a US$40 million, five-year contract with the Patriots.

The team dropped Hernandez just hours after his arrest on June 26, 2013, nine days after Lloyd was found dead.

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