New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez may be closer to being charged for the double murder of two Boston area immigrants in 2012, according to law enforcement sources who say prosecutors have begun presenting a "strengthening" case to a Suffolk County grand jury.
At least two law enforcement sources have confirmed to the Boston Globe and myfoxboston.com, that Hernandez could end up facing an indictment in the murders of two men killed in a drive by shooting that happened in Boston's South End in July 2012. The fact that the case has gone to a grand jury backs the notion that investigators have honed into Hernandez.
“The case against Hernandez appears to be strengthening,” one official told the Boston Globe. Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu were shot early on July 16, 2012, in a drive by shooting from someone in a sport utility vehicle with Rhode Island license plates. Sources tell myfoxBoston that Hernandez and the two men were in the same nightclub the night of the shooting.
Meanwhile, Hernandez is due to make a court appearance Wednesday afternoon for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 in an industrial park in North Attleborough near Hernandez's home. Law enforcement officials told the Globe, investigators believe Hernandez shot Lloyd because he was worried Lloyd had information on the double murder and might talk.
He has pleaded not guilty. The appearance Wednesday is a probable cause hearing at the Attleboro District Court.
Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd's killing because he was upset at him for talking to people Hernandez had problems with at a nightclub a few days earlier. Sources
They say he and two associates, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, drove with Lloyd to the industrial park. Authorities have not said who fired the shots, but documents filed in Florida — and released since Hernandez's last court appearance — paint the former Patriot as the triggerman. According to the records, Ortiz told police that Wallace said Hernandez fired the shots.
Hernandez's lawyers say the case against him is circumstantial and he wants to clear his name.
Hernandez is being held without bail at a county jail.
Wallace and Ortiz also are facing charges. Wallace pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a gun charge.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.