When Aaron Hernandez went on trial for the July 2012 murders of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu in Boston, his friends in the NFL paid for his high price defense.
That’s according to two Boston Police homicide detectives who spoke exclusively with Boston 25 News.
“Money can buy you a good defense but during our trial I think Aaron was probably out of money and other football players were supporting his defense,” said Detective Sgt. Marc Sullivan in his first television interview about the case.
Sullivan and Detective Paul MacIsaac first began investigating Hernandez for the killings in June 2013 after they learned authorities in Bristol County had tied the then New England Patriots tight end to the murder of Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough.
On a night off, Sullivan remembered security footage from Cure Lounge that showed Hernandez at the Boston Night Club when Furtado, de Abreu and three of their friends were there. Initially, Sullivan thought it was only a coincidence.
“Aaron had VIP access, so he was escorted in to the right as the victims were paying. We knew Aaron was there, but Aaron and his associate were only there maybe 10 minutes and they immediately left,” Sullivan said.
“It just hit me that we had to look at Aaron.”
“It was unbelievable. The next day the sergeant was like, follow him because we had video from everywhere,” MacIsaac said, referring to surveillance video of Hernandez and his associate, Alexander Bradley, in the hours before and after the drive-by shooting.
The detectives got a big break when Hernandez’s Toyota 4-Runner was found stashed in his cousins’ garage in Bristol, Connecticut.
The vehicle matched the description provided by witnesses near the scene of the shooting. The 4Runner had been wiped clean and there were no usable fingerprints.
The detectives got one face to face meeting with Hernandez at the Bristol County Jail where he was held while awaiting trial for the Lloyd murder. They said Hernandez was polite, but he refused to give any information
“We received a call from his lawyer telling us to stay away. We weren't even out of the parking lot yet when his lawyer called,” MacIsaac said.
Not Guilty Verdict
The Detectives revealed that two of the survivors of the drive-by shooting positively identified Hernandez as the triggerman, but that information was suppressed during the trial.
“When all this started breaking, they saw him on television and they start looking at him saying he looks just like the guys who did ours," MacIsaac explained.
Hernandez’s defense team was lead by celebrity attorney Jose Baez. Baez repeatedly criticized the police and prosecution throughout the trial suggesting Hernandez was targeted because he was an NFL player.
“The same thing happens in every trial every trial and it’s not covered by the media. It’s not the first time they've come after what we do," MacIsaac explained.
Hernandez was acquitted of the double murder on April 14, 2017.
Just days later Hernandez hanged himself in a central Massachusetts prison where he was serving life for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Sullivan and MacIsaac said they were not surprised to hear Hernandez took his own life. After his acquittal a person close to Hernandez who they declined to name told them he was planning to take his own life.
From what his fiancee knew about his double life, to the rumored motive for the murder of Odin Lloyd, see more of Ted Daniel's interview with the detectives here:
>>More of Ted Daniel's coverage of Aaron Hernandez:
Cox Media Group