There was a surprise visitor in the courtroom in which Aaron Hernandez’s double-murder trial is being conducted and she brought a big smile to the face of the former New England Patriots tight end.
Wearing a polka-dot top, pink skirt and white sweater, Avielle had been begging to see her father, according to her mother, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez. Shayanna, Hernandez’s fiancee who has taken his name, was five months pregnant when prosecutors say Hernandez shot de Abreu and Furtado in a drive-by killing for accidentally splashing him with a drink in a nightclub. Avielle and her mother were seated behind the families of de Abreu and Furtado and, as court officers led him away, Hernandez blew kisses at Avielle.
It was a rare light moment Wednesday as the jury went on to conclude its fourth day of deliberations without a verdict. Hernandez, 27, has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and to a charge of witness intimidation for allegedly shooting Alexander Bradley, his former friend and marijuana supplier, in an effort to silence him about the July 2012 killings. Bradley, who is serving a five-year sentence in Connecticut for a shooting in a Hartford club in 2014, has been granted immunity by prosecutors in exchange for his testimony in the Hernandez trial.
Hernandez was sentenced in April 2015 for killing Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins-Hernandez’s sister. His first-degree murder conviction will be automatically reviewed by the highest court in Massachusetts at a date to be determined.