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Aaron Hernandez defense witness disputes prosecution’s case

April 4, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Aaron Hernandez defense witness disputes prosecution’s case

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On Monday, attorneys for former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez present their arguments at his trial with a fan who said Hernandez was friendly and calm the night he allegedly of murdered two men after a brief dispute at a nightclub in Boston.

Hernandez’s lawyers began calling witnesses after prosecutors concluded their case on Monday.

The prosecution’s entire case surrounds the notion that Hernandez, furious that Daniel De Abreu spilled a drink on him, sought revenge two hours after the encounter by firing bullets into Abreu’s vehicle, murdering him and Safiro Furtado, CBS Boston reported.

Hernandez’s attorneys called on a witness to dispute the prosecution’s claims.

Antoine Salvador, a psychology doctoral student who met Aaron Hernandez at the nightclub, was asked if the football star looked mad that night, in which Salvador responded, “Not at all.”

Antoine Salvador (right) said he met Hernandez twice before the 2012 double shooting

Salvador said that he asked Hernandez for a picture. Hernandez originally declined his request in a polite manner, but then said yes after he told Hernandez it was his birthday.

Salvador said he later noticed Hernandez outside of the lounge, about 20 minutes before the murder. He said he said thank you to the player for the picture, and Hernandez said, “No problem. Have a good night.”

Under cross-examination by the prosecution, Salvador acknowledged that the player’s defense team assisted him with the timeline by showing him surveillance footage.

Monday was launched with testimony from the prosecution’s final witness, a detective with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. But the prosecution rested shortly before 10:30 a.m. after 22 days.

Hernandez’s legal team called multiple witnesses on Monday, including the manager of a strip club in Florida, a street sweeper from Boston, an officer, and two others who were at the nightclub where the altercation occurred that allegedly led to the murders.

Jurors also heard from street sweeper Warren McMaster, who testified that he went to the crime scene shortly after the shooting and saw a woman – not a man – hanging out of the sunroof of a car next to the victims’ BMW.

“They might have been calling for help or recording,” he said. “It looked like they had something in their hand.”

Judge Jeffrey Locke informed jurors that they might hear closing arguments as early as Thursday. He said no defense witnesses were going to testify Tuesday, but additional witnesses will be called on Wednesday.

A selfie taken by Salvador with Hernandez the night of the shooting was presented to the court

Prosecutors argue that Hernandez brutally murdered de Abreu and Furtado in 2016 because he felt disrespected after de Abreu spilled his drink. Salvador said he did not see anyone spill a drink on Hernandez.

Hernandez’s lawyers have targeted the state’s star witness, a former friend of Hernandez who was with him the night of the incident. The defense maintained Alexander Bradley killed the men in a drug deal gone wrong.

Bradley testified that  Aaron Hernandez opened fire on the men’s vehicle at a light two hours after the nightclub dispute. Hernandez has also been charged with witness intimidation after reportedly shooting Bradley to silence him.

Last week, Hernandez’s fiancée told the court that she learned to keep quiet and “not ask questions” in certain situations. She also maintained that she could not remember the call that records show Hernandez made to her on the night of the double murder.

The testimony of Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez on behalf of the prosecution came after the District Attorney granted her immunity.

Hernandez is already serving life behind bars for the 2013 fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating the sister of Jenkins-Hernandez’s.

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