Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez takes stand in Aaron Hernandez's double murder trial
She repeatedly testifies she can't remember key details of her time with Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée testified Thursday in the former NFL star’s double murder trial that she couldn’t recall key conversations she had with him and didn’t ask him what happened to a friend of his who was shot in the face.
“I learned to keep my mouth shut in certain situations,” Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez said Thursday, repeating what she had previously told a grand jury.
“I played my role,” she added. “Meaning I cleaned and I did everything else. There was no reason for me to ask any questions.”
Testifying under a grant of immunity, Jenkins Hernandez sat just feet from her fiancé, Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end accused of killing two men in July 2012. Prosecutors say Hernandez, angered after an encounter in a Boston nightclub, shot and killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado as they sat in a vehicle later that night.
At the time, Jenkins Hernandez was pregnant with Hernandez’s child. The couple got engaged in October 2012, and she gave birth to a daughter a month later.
The crux of the prosecution’s case came from Alexander Bradley, a former friend of Hernandez’s who was granted immunity to speak. Bradley testified last week that he was driving Hernandez’s vehicle when the athlete leaned across him and fired five shots into a packed car, killing de Abreu and Furtado.
Bradley said he remained close friends with Hernandez until February 2013 when Hernandez shot him in the face in Florida, he testified. Bradley survived the shooting but lost one of his eyes.
In testimony Thursday, Jenkins Hernandez said she never asked Hernandez what happened to his friend, even after she learned from someone else that Bradley had been shot in the face.
“He was not my friend. We weren’t sitting on the couch eating popcorn and watching movies,” she said of Bradley. “I pick and choose my battles. There are some things that are worth arguing about. There are some things that aren’t. I didn’t see that as being one of them.
“Like I said, he wasn’t my close friend. Yes, it’s a sad situation, but it’s something that – why should I press on something like that? I had other things to worry about.”
On cross-examination, she said she thought Bradley was bad news and that it was a good thing they were not hanging out anymore.
Recalls finding gun in drawer
Thursday marked the second time Jenkins Hernandez was called to the stand in the murder trial against her fiancé. She also testified two years ago when Hernandez was accused of the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for that case, though he has appealed.
In Thursday’s testimony, Jenkins Hernandez repeatedly said she could not remember key details of her time with Hernandez. In particular, she said she did not remember receiving a phone call from him at 2:30 a.m. on the night of the killings.
She also said she did not know the value of Hernandez’s $40 million contract extension with the Patriots in August 2012. At another point, she even said she could not remember the text of a tattoo she got with Hernandez in 2012.
She did, however, say she remembered finding a gun in the “junk drawer” in Hernandez’s home. She gave Hernandez a “look,” she testified. When she went back to the drawer later, the gun was gone, she said.
Jenkins Hernandez testified she did not believe Hernandez had a gun license but that the firearm didn’t bother her.
“I think there’s many people that arm themselves and have guns in their homes,” she said.