Jury begins deliberations in Aaron Hernandez murder trial
FALL RIVER, Mass. — Closing arguments have concluded in the murder trial of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez.
For the first time, a lawyer for Hernandez acknowledged to jurors during closing arguments that his client witnessed the killing, but he described Hernandez as a 23-year-old kid who didn’t know what to do.
He urged them to find him not guilty of murder. Both sides delivered closing arguments on Tuesday.
Hernandez lawyer James Sultan went first, saying his client didn't make all the right choices, but that that doesn't mean he orchestrated the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Sultan pinned it on Hernandez's co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz.
Both have pleaded not guilty and will be tried later.
Assistant District Attorney William McCauley went next, telling jurors if they look at the evidence, they will find Hernandez guilty.
The jury deliberated for an hour and a half on Tuesday before being sent home for the night. They will return on Wednesday morning. Until a verdict is found, jurors will deliberate each day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Hernandez is charged with the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.
Lloyd was shot six times at an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
The defense rested its case after calling just three witnesses. His lawyers rested Monday after witnesses testified about DNA evidence and the drug PCP. Prosecutors then called a rebuttal witness to testify about PCP.
The defense’s first witness was Dr. David Greenblatt, a professor of pharmacology at Tufts University. Greenblatt testified that PCP often makes people psychotic. He said people who have taken the drug can appear to shake and sweat, and they can be violent.
Hernandez’s cousin, Jennifer Mercado, testified two weeks ago that the two co-defendants, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were smoking PCP before leaving from Bristol the night of the murder.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors called 132 witnesses in the more than 2-month-long trial but have not explained to jurors a motive. The defense has questioned why Hernandez would put his career on the line, and attacked what it called sloppy police work.