Witness Identifies Aaron Hernandez as Gunman in 2012 Double Homicide
During a pretrial hearing in Boston Tuesday, one of the two survivors of a 2012 shooting that killed two people said former NFL star and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez was the gunman, a court official tells PEOPLE.
From the witness stand Tuesday, Raychides Sanches allegedly nodded in Hernandez’ direction when asked who killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado during the July 15, 2012, drive-by shooting, PEOPLE confirms.
In 2015, Hernandez received a life sentence in prison for the 2013 first-degree murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, who had been dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins.
Hernandez will go on trial in February for the 2012 double homicide. He was indicted in 2014, charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, as well as unlawful possession of the gun used in the attack.
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Authorities allege Hernandez targeted the four men after one of them bumped into him inside a nightclub, causing him to spill his drink. According to investigators, Hernandez sat in his vehicle, waiting for the men to exit the venue.
Hernandez allegedly drove up to the car the four men had gotten into, yelled a racial slur, and then sprayed the car with bullets. Sanches and another, unidentified man were wounded in the attack that killed de Abreu and Furtado.
Weeks after the incident, Hernandez signed a substantial contract extension with the New England Patriots that included a $12.5 million signing bonus.
During Hernandez’ trial in Lloyd’s death, the prosecution alleged Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd at his home during the early morning hours of June 17, 2013. According to testimony, they drove Lloyd to a secluded industrial park and shot him seven times. Prosecutors alleged Hernandez orchestrated the murder.
A judge sentenced Aaron Hernandez to life in prison. He will never be eligible for parole.
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Jury selection for the 2012 homicides is scheduled to commence on Feb. 13, 2017.
Hernandez’s attorneys declined PEOPLE’s requests for comment.