Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez acquitted on double murder

A former American football star, who is already serving a life sentence for murder, has been cleared of killing two other men.

Aaron Hernandez, 27, was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in 2012 after a fight outside a nightclub in Boston's South End.

The jury in the trial took 37 hours to acquit Hernandez on seven of the eight charges he faced, convicting him only on an illegal firearms charge.

The former NFL player wept as the verdicts were read, with his lawyer Ronald Sullivan later saying he had been wrongly accused.

Mr Sullivan blamed a friend of Hernandez's for the murders, adding that his client was a "very good young man who happened to hang out with a very bad guy".

But Suffolk County's district attorney Daniel Conley said he was "disappointed" with the result.

Mr Conley added: "The jury just didn't see it our way."

Two years ago, Hernandez was jailed for life without parole for murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro footballer, in June 2013.

It was a spectacular fall from grace for the man who had once had a $40m five-year contract with the New England Patriots, the current Super Bowl champions.

The team dropped him just hours after his arrest for Mr Lloyd's murder.

Mr Conley said it was "certainly comforting for the families" to know that Hernandez "will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars".

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