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.