Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the 2012 deaths of two men he allegedly gunned down after an encounter inside a Boston nightclub.
Hernandez appeared in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday afternoon in the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. A third man was wounded.
Prosecutors say Hernandez kept a gun under the hood of his vehicle, and took it out as he left the club that night.
“The defendant’s SUV pulled up close alongside the passenger side of the victims’ car. The defendant leaned out the driver’s side window of the SUV with a loaded revolver in his hand and shouted ‘yo, what’s up now’ and then a racial slur. The defendant immediately fired at least five rounds from a 38 caliber revolver into the victims’ car,” Assistant District Attorney Pat Haggan said.
A family member of one of the victims sobbed loudly as Hernandez entered his not guilty pleas to seven charges.
Prosecutors also say that after fleeing the scene Hernandez told another person "I think I got one in the head, one in the leg."
A lawyer for Hernandez says the prosecution is turning the case into a public spectacle and not giving his client a fair trial.
“This is not supposed to be a spectacle, it’s not supposed to be a sporting contest. The defendant has been subjected to an avalanche of publicity, none of which we’re responsible for,” Charlie Rankin said.
Hernandez already faces charges in the 2013 murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating a sister of Hernandez's fiancee. He was released by the Patriots last summer after his arrest in Lloyd's shooting death.
Hernandez's lawyers have said he is looking forward to proving his innocence.
Hernandez is due in court again for the South End double murder on June 24.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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