Another step in what is expected to be long and involved court proceedings against former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez will take place Wednesday afternoon in Courtroom 906 of the Suffolk County (Mass.) Court House. Hernandez will be arraigned on two counts of first degree murder in the drive-by shooting deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu in Boston in July 2012.
He will also be arraigned on three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and single counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Hernandez is currently being held in the Bristol County Jail awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd on June 17, 2013.
Hernandez, a former Pro Bowl tight end for the Patriots, who signed a 40 million dollar extension on his contract with New England, which included a $12.5 million signing bonus in August 2012, has been held without bail since his arrest on June 26, 2013 for the murder of Lloyd.
But that case was put on hold when police implicated Hernandez in the drive-by shooting of Furtado and de Abreu outside of a Boston night club last summer.
A grand jury indicted Hernandez for the double homicide May 15.
The arraignment on Wednesday should be brief with the charges being, read, Hernandez entering a plea and a potential trial date set.
After that the focus should switch back to the case involving Lloyd since that trial is expected to be held first.
On Tuesday, one of Hernandez' associates, Carlos Ortiz, 28, pleaded not guilty to a murder indictment of Lloyd. Police believe he was involved in the killing of the 27-year-old, semi-pro football player. Lloyd was an acquaintance of Hernandez and had been dating the sister of Hernandez' fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.
A third man, Ernest Wallace, also has been indicted for the murder of Lloyd. Under Massachusetts law a person does not have to be the actual killer to be charged with murder. A term called a "joint venture" makes those who were involved with the actual murder in jeopardy of the same charge as the actual person who committed the murder.