If you ever get accused of murder, call Jose Angel Biaz. This defense attorney is best known for helping to acquit Casey Anthony of murdering her daughter has now done the same for convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez.
The former NFL star, who is already serving a life sentence for another murder, was found not guilty of the July 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Hernandez had been accused of shooting both men to death outside a Boston nightclub after a run-in with one of the men inside the club — who reportedly bumped into the former Patriots tight end and spilled his drink.
At the trial, prosecutors said that Herndandez shot at the victims while in a car outside the club, in retaliation for bumping into him. The prosecution reportedly relied heavily on the testimony of Hernandez’s former friend Alexander Bradley, who claims Hernandez tried to kill him because he was a witness to the 2012 shootings.
Bradley testified at the trial in exchange for immunity, and is currently behind bars for an unrelated shooting incident.
According to the Boston Globe, Baez went after Bradley’s character, describing him to the jury as “a killer,” and exhibited text messages he sent after Hernandez allegedly shot him, bragging about his arsenal of weapons, and threatening to kill Hernandez, possibly with the help of so-called “wolves” he had at his disposal.
Baez also exposed a possible error in Bradley’s testimony: The witness said that Hernandez tossed the gun away shortly after the alleged July 16, 2012 shooting; but police reportedly uncovered the weapon with a woman with ties to Hernandez, a year after the shooting.
In the end, it appears to have been enough to keep a jury from finding Hernandez guilty of both murder and witness intimidation. The suspect was found guilty only of weapon possession, which is expected to add four to five years to his current life sentence.
At Casey Anthony’s 2011 murder trial for the 2008 death of her daughter Caylee, Baez and the rest of the defense team shifted the blame to Casey’s father George Anthony, accusing him of sexually abusing his daughter for years. The defense offered a theory that Caylee died accidentally at her grandparent’s pool, and George Anthony helped dispose of her body.
Anthony was acquitted on all charges except for lying to police.