Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appeared in a Massachusetts court Wednesday pleading not guilty to seven charges—including two of first-degree murder—for the 2012 murder of two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in a drive-by shooting.
During the arraignment, prosecutors in the case began to articulate what they allege Hernandez’s motive was for the killings: He felt disrespected after one of the men accidentally bumped him in a nightclub, spilling his drink.
Here’s more on the night’s scene as depicted by the prosecution, via the Associated Press:
In the months before the killings, Suffolk County First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Haggan told the court Hernandez had become increasingly convinced that people “had been testing, trying or otherwise disrespecting him when he frequented nightclubs in the area.”
The night de Abreu and Furtado were killed, Haggan said Hernandez and a friend drove from Connecticut to a Boston nightclub called Cure. They were standing at the edge of the dance floor when de Abreu accidentally bumped into Hernandez, smiled at him and did not apologize, according to prosecutors. Haggan said de Abreu and his friends did not appear to recognize Hernandez and had no idea he was upset…
Haggan said Hernandez later drove around with his friend until he saw de Abreu, Furtado and others going to their car, then followed them and pulled up alongside their car at a red light.
“At this time, the victims were completely unaware there was any problem with the defendant,” Haggan said. Hernandez leaned out the driver’s side, said “Yo, what’s up now,” followed by a racial slur, then fired at least five shots into the car, killing de Abreu and Furtado, and injuring a man sitting in the back seat, Haggan said.