Aaron Hernandez is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty two years ago of the 2013 first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd.
But the former NFL star had a victory in court today as a jury found him not guilty of murdering two men in a separate 2012 shooting. Prosecutors couldn't convince a jury that the former New England Patriots' tight end shot and killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado on July 16, 2012, after de Abreu allegedly spilled a drink on him inside a Boston nightclub.
The not-guilty verdict came after the jury spent more than 35 hours over six days of deliberation, as reported by TMZ Sports. That being said, Hernandez, 27, was still found guilty of a lesser charge in the form of illegal possession of a firearm in connection to the trial. He was sentenced to serve four to five years in prison for that conviction on top of the separate life sentence for being found guilty nearly two years ago of murdering Lloyd.
When the not-guilty verdict was read in court Friday afternoon, Hernandez appeared to get choked up, with the families of de Abreu and Furtado emotionally reacting behind him. Hernandez also mouthed "I love you" to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, as reported by USA Today.
Check out the chilling footage of the verdict being read below.
Late last month, Hernandez might have received a big break in the case when star witness Alexander Bradley was questioned about a deleted text message from 2013 by the former gridiron star's lawyer.
The message allegedly had Bradley unclear over who shot him in the face during a separate February 2013 incident in which he claims Hernandez fired at him. The deleted text message might have been vital, considering Hernandez's defense claimed that Bradley was the gunman who shot and killed de Abreu and Furtado during a bungled drug deal. Bradley had maintained, however, that Hernandez was the one who shot and killed both men.
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(Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)