BOSTON – Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is due in court to be arraigned on murder charges for allegedly ambushing and gunning down two men in 2012 after a chance encounter inside a Boston nightclub.
Hernandez is scheduled to appear in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday afternoon in the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. A third man was wounded.
Prosecutors have said that after Hernandez and an associate encountered the two men in a club, Hernandez followed them in an SUV, pulled up alongside them as their vehicle stopped at a red light and opened fire.
Hernandez, 24, already faces charges in the 2013 murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. He was released by the Patriots last summer after his arrest in Lloyd’s shooting death.
Authorities have not said if there is any connection between the 2012 killings and Lloyd’s slaying. Lloyd’s body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough. Lloyd was dating a sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
Hernandez’s lawyers have said he is looking forward to proving his innocence.
A look at key moments for Aaron Hernandez
Key dates in the case of Aaron Hernandez:
– June 8, 2010: Hernandez, a standout tight end drafted from the University of Florida, signs a four-year contract with the New England Patriots.
– Jan. 1, 2012: He sets a career best with 138 receiving yards in a win over Buffalo.
– July 16, 2012: Two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, are shot to death in their car as they wait for a red light in Boston’s South End neighborhood.
– Aug. 27, 2012: Hernandez signs a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots.
– February 2013: An associate, Alexander Bradley, is shot in the face in Florida. Bradley files a lawsuit alleging that Hernandez shot him after they argued at a strip club.
– June 17, 2013: The body of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend, is found about a mile from Hernandez’s mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
– June 26, 2013: Hernandez is arrested on a murder charge in Lloyd’s slaying and taken from his home in handcuffs. He later pleads not guilty. The Patriots release him hours after his arrest.
– May 15, 2014: Hernandez is indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the shootings of Abreu and Furtado. His lawyers say he is innocent.