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‘I Learned to Keep My Mouth Shut’: Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Testifies in Double Murder Trial


Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez took the stand on Thursday in the double murder trial of her fiancée. Jenkins-Hernandez and Hernandez have a four-year-old child together.

Prosecutors asked Jenkins-Hernandez about a seventeen-second phone call from Aaron Hernandez at 2:37 a.m. on the night in July 2012 when the former New England Patriots Tight End is accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado outside a Boston nightclub. Prosecutors say the men enraged Hernandez when they spilled a drink on him and laughed at him.

The prosecution presented phone call logs from that night, but Jenkins-Hernandez doesn’t remember receiving the phone call.

Jenkins-Hernandez also testified about finding a gun in the home she shared with Hernandez. Upon finding it, she testified that she went downstairs to Hernandez’s “Man Cave” and gave him a “look” to indicate something was wrong. His reaction was rattled, she explained, but she couldn’t recall any further communication about the weapon. She couldn’t describe the weapon and testified that she doesn’t know the difference between a revolver and a pistol.

Alexander “Sherrod” Bradley, a former Hernandez friend, testified earlier in the case that he was in the car when Hernandez fired the shots that killed the two men. Bradley was later shot in the face in Florida. Through Bradley originally claimed not to know who shot him and refused to cooperate with police, he later said it was Hernandez who pulled the trigger. Prosecutors allege it was witness intimidation.

Jenkins-Hernandez, the finacé, testified that Aaron Hernandez and Bradley were friends. She said she didn’t know how close the two men were. She claimed not to know how often Bradley and Hernandez hung out or exchanged text messages.

Jenkins-Hernandez testified that she didn’t recall why Hernandez went to Florida with Alexander Bradley or what happened during the trip.

She testified that she found out “from another source” that Bradley had been shot. When asked by prosecutors whether she had talked with Hernandez about the shooting, she replied, “she may have.” Prosecutors asked whether it was significant to her that someone who had been in her home and who had been friends with her fiancée had been shot. She replied unemotionally that she was simply “sad,” then reiterated that she could not recall whether she discussed the shooting with Hernandez. She also said she didn’t know whether she discussed with Hernandez why Alexander Bradley no longer visited their house after being shot.

In an icy exchange to explain previous testimony, Jenkins-Hernandez told prosecutors: “I knew that Aaron and Sherrod were together in Florida. I was not there to know if Aaron [Hernandez] was with him [Bradley] the night when whatever happened, so that was my general understanding and what I conveyed to you.”

Prosecutors read back earlier testimony in which Jenkins-Hernandez said she did ask Hernandez whether he was with Sherrod when he was shot in the face. Originally, she claimed that she didn’t recall what his response was.

“I learned to keep my mouth shut in certain situations,” she eventually said.

Jenkins-Hernandez testified about receiving tattoos around the same time as Hernandez. One of her tattoos finishes a quote which starts on Hernandez’s body. She offered little direct insight about his other tattoos. Prosecutors have suggested that a Hernandez tattoo showing a revolver with five, but not six, bullets in its chamber is evidence that Hernandez was the shooter. Police recovered evidence of five shots in the double murder, though some witnesses testified hearing six. Alexander Bradley testified to hearing five or six shots. The tattoo artist testified that Hernandez requested five, but not six, bullets be visible on his tattoo. Prosecutors also played an interview where Hernandez discusses his tattoos and states that they all have significant meaning for him.

Defense attorneys pressed their theory that Bradley was a questionable witness. Jenkins-Hernandez testified on cross-examination by the defense that Bradley was “bad news” and that she was glad Bradley was no longer around her fiancé after Bradley was shot.

Hernandez, the former Patriots star, is already sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. He was previously convicted nearly two years ago in another murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.