Aaron Hernandez is going to spend the rest of his life behind bars after being found guilty of murdering his former friend Odin Lloyd in June 2013. But despite the guilty verdict in that case, Hernandez is still being forced to deal with another serious legal issue at the moment. He stands accused of taking part in a deadly drive-by shooting in July 2012 that left two men dead, and he is scheduled to go on trial in February to answer to the murder charges that were filed against him in 2014.
On Tuesday afternoon, Hernandez appeared at a pretrial hearing in Boston, and during that hearing, a man named Raychides Sanches who survived the 2012 drive-by shooting was questioned by both the prosecution and the defense with regards to what he remembers about the shooting that took place. During the questioning, he identified Hernandez as the shooter during the incident and talked about what happened in the moments before his friends Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were shot and killed.
According to Sanches, he was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped at a red light in Boston on the night of July 16, 2012 when an SUV pulled up next to the vehicle and someone inside of it yelled, "What’s up, negroes?" Seconds later, he claims gunfire erupted and eventually claimed the lives of de Abreu and Furtado. And when he was asked who started shooting at the vehicle he was in, Sanches nodded towards Hernandez and said, "Looked like him. Hernandez."
Aquilino Freire, another man who survived the drive-by shooting, was also questioned in court about what took place. He did not identify Hernandez as the shooter directly, but he did describe the person who shot at the vehicle he was in as a light-skinned man with no beard and tattoos.
The prosecution in the case believes Hernandez opened fire on the vehicle that was carrying Sanches, Freire, de Abreu, and Furtado after one of the men bumped into him at a Boston nightclub that night. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder charges. His defense team asked for his trial to be delayed during the hearing on Tuesday, but a judge denied that request and said that the trial will start in February as planned.
Hernandez is due back in court on Dec. 27 for another hearing.