Former New England Patriots player found guilty of murder
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez has a long legal road ahead, even after being convicted of a 2013 murder charge.
Hernandez is charged in a 2012 double killing in Boston, accused in the drive-by shooting of two men he felt disrespected him at a nightclub. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in that case.
Hernandez was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, was found shot six times in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home in North Attleborough. Hernandez's lawyer acknowledged his client witnessed the crime but insisted he did not do it.
A first-degree murder conviction in Massachusetts automatically triggers an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court. A date for the Hernandez appeal wasn't immediately set.
Separately, in Boston, Hernandez is charged with shooting Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after an encounter at the nightclub Cure.
According to prosecutors, de Abreu accidentally bumped into him at a nightclub, spilling Hernandez's drink. Hernandez told a friend he thought the man was "trying" him, and surveillance video outside the club showed Hernandez pacing back and forth while his friend tried to calm him down.
Later, Hernandez drove around until he saw the men get in a car, followed them and shot at them from a silver SUV at a stop light, prosecutors said. A third man in their car also was shot but survived.
About six weeks after that shooting, Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots, and he went on to play for another season before Lloyd was killed. He was cut from the team soon after being arrested in Lloyd's killing in June 2013.
The judge in the Lloyd case barred prosecutors from telling jurors about the Boston double killing.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke has not set a date for the Boston trial after delaying it until the Lloyd case was over.
Hernandez also faces civil lawsuits from the families of the men he is accused of killing. And he was sued by Alexander Bradley, a former friend who says Hernandez shot him in the face and left him for dead in an industrial park in Florida after arguing with him in February 2013.