According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez is facing new murder charges out of Suffolk County. Hernandez is already accused of murdering a man (Odin Lloyd) last year, and has pending murder charges in Plymouth County. The new charges stem from an incident that happened outside a nightclub in Boston’s South End in 2012, prior to the Plymouth County murder. The article states that on July 16, 2012, Hernandez allegedly got into a disagreement with two men in the nightclub – Daniel de Abreau and Safiro Furtado. Both men were later shot to death while they sat in a car outside the club. The shooter reportedly drove up in an SUV with Rhode Island plates, pulled alongside the victims’ car, and opened fire. According to a third individual who was in the car with the victims, the gunshots were fired from the rear passenger seat of the SUV.
Hernandez was reportedly seen on surveillance footage in the nightclub on the evening of the shooting, and the SUV reportedly used in the shooting was found at Hernandez’s uncle’s home in Bristol, Connecticut months after the incident took place. The SUV was dusty and had a dead battery, which led police to speculate that the vehicle had not been used for a significant period of time.
Despite the fact that new charges have issued, however, the evidence against Hernandez may not be ironclad. To convict Hernandez of murder, the Commonwealth would have prove that Hernandez was involved in the murders beyond a reasonable doubt. Although the Commonwealth may prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt with circumstantial evidence, the evidence that the Commonwealth has in relation to these new charges may fall short of satisfying a jury. The mere fact that Hernandez had a disagreement with the victims does not amount to a basis to find him guilty of murder. Further, even though it is suspicious that the car involved in the shooting was found at Hernandez’s uncle’s home, it likewise falls far short of establishing that Hernandez was the shooter, or was even in the car at the time of the shooting.
The Suffolk County charges levied against Hernandez, in conjunction with additional information that has been released since the issuance of those charges, certainly demonstrate that Hernandez is very different from the person that many people believed him to be when he played for the Patriots. Despite his unpopularity, however, he cannot be convicted for the 2012 murders of de Abreau and Furtado without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and his attorneys will need to make sure that the Commonwealth does not try to use Hernandez’s lack of popularity with the general public to obtain a conviction.
If you or a loved one is facing charges with seemingly weak evidence, you will likewise need an experienced and skilled defense attorney to ensure that you get a fair trial. Attorney Daniel Cappetta is such an attorney – he will fight to protect your rights no matter what the charges are. Call him for a free consultation today.