Aaron Hernandez was found not guilty of a double murder from 2012 in Boston. The key piece of evidence leading to the not guilty verdict was that Alexander Bradley the only one directly linking Hernandez to the murder could not be trusted. There was evidence that he was lying, manipulative, had a long criminal history including gun charges and was a known drug dealer.
The Commonwealth did everything it could to distance itself from Bradley and in closing argument tried to suggest that Bradley’s testimony was not really necessary for a conviction. But in the end, the jury could not determine whether Bradley fired the shots. Given that Bradley had a gun related incident after his immunity deal, the jury concluded it was equally likely that Bradley fired the shots and Hernandez was nervous that he was associated with a shooting.
In his closing argument, the prosecutor spent about an hour addressing what the evidence was and how strong it was even without the testimony of Alexander Bradley. The prosecutor made compelling points in closing such as why was the car used in the murder stored at Hernandez’s cousin’s house, how would Bradley have known what the victim’s in the car would have claimed was said when the shots were fired. But Bradley claimed that Hernandez threw the murder weapon out the window of the car, which was not supported by the evidence. The prosecutor tried to argue that inconsistencies in the evidence indicate trustworthiness, but in the end for the jury it was reasonable doubt.
Given the unreliability of Bradley, the fact that he appeared calculating, the jury could not find the case proven to a near moral certitude. For an excellent discussion of the trial, Lauren Sweet from the Boston Herald has a great recap of the trial.
Another key piece of evidence the prosecutor attempted to make the jury believe was the “tattoo confession”; prosecutor’s repeatedly emphasized that these tattoo’s were a confession of the crime. The jury disagreed and as a defense attorney, I myself find the tattoo connection to be prejudicial. The prosecutor ended his closing arguments on the “tattoo confession”. While this would have been an interesting appellate issue if there was a conviction, it is possible that the prosecutor over played his hands in equating the tattoos with a confession and that the jury found this showed a lack of real evidence to prove the murder.
The not guilty verdict in the Boston murder shifts the focus back to the appeal of the Odin Lloyd murder. The Boston defense team will now be attempting to vacate this conviction in order to have a new trial on the Lloyd case to secure Hernandez’s release. Overturning the Lloyd conviction will be difficult as many of the evidentiary rulings went in the defense’s favor.
To read more about the verdict you can visit MyFox Boston website for further reading.
To learn more about criminal defense and stay current on case, you may contact Attorney DelSignore.