Aaron Hernandez, who committed suicide in his jail cell on Wednesday, was acquitted of the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado on April 14 — but the jury forewoman is now speaking out to clarify that the acquittal does not mean the jury believed he was innocent.
Jury forewoman Lindsey Stringer told the Boston Globe that there were differences in opinion among jurors about to what degree Hernandez was responsible for the victims’ deaths, and said that the jury was skeptical about the prosecution’s witnesses — namely Alexander Bradley, a drug dealer who claims that Hernandez shot him in 2013 because he witnessed the deadly shootings. Bradley lost an eye after being shot in the face.
“I really wanted to believe that every person coming through that courtroom as a witness was telling the truth … And I don’t think that was the case for several witnesses. But I’ll never know,” Stringer told the Boston Globe.
But skepticism about the witnesses’s accounts did not mean that the jurors thought Hernandez wasn’t responsible for the deaths.
I want to be very clear that a verdict of ‘not guilty’ does not mean that we declared Aaron Hernandez innocent … There were basically differences of opinion on the level of potential involvement.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd during his second murder trial. But Stringer told that newspapers that not everyone on the jury was aware of his prior conviction, and the jurors never discussed his criminal history.
On Friday, a Newsweek report citing law enforcement sources claimed that Hernandez was bisexual, and may have murdered Lloyd to protect a secret about a purported romantic relationship with a high school friend.
Hernandez was found hanged to death in his cell early Wednesday morning, several hours after he was last seen by staff at the Massachusetts prison. Investigators have reportedly said that three suicide notes were found with Hernandez’s body, but have not yet revealed the contents.