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Ex-Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez arraigned for double murder, pleads not guilty

Former NFL playerAaron Hernandez is charged with three counts of murder.  (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Ted Fitzgerald) Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez is charged with two counts of murder. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, Ted Fitzgerald)

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arraigned on Wednesday on seven charges, including two counts of first degree murder, after authorities say he ambushed two people in a drive-by shooting in 2012, reports the Associated Press.

Hernandez plead not guilty to all charges during his appearance at the Suffolk Superior Court. The other charges are three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The next hearing is scheduled for June 24.

Prosecutors say that Hernandez and another man encountered Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a nightclub after Hernandez's drink was spilled, and Abreu did not apologize. He then followed them in a vehicle and opened fire with a .38 caliber firearm while the victims were stopped at a red light. Another man was also wounded in the incident.

Hernandez has been in jail awaiting trial since June, held without bail since his arrest for the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. Hernandez, 24, pleaded not guilty to that charge and several other weapons charges.

From the AP:

Authorities have not said if there is any connection between the 2012 killings and Lloyd's slaying. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough. Lloyd was dating a sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Last week, prosecutors said they were looking for help from tattoo artists who may have done work on Hernandez, saying it could help in the prosecution of the double murder.

The arraignment comes just under two weeks after Hernandez was indicted for the double murder. In February, the families of the two victims filed wrongful death lawsuits seeking $6 million in damages against Hernandez.

McCANN: New double-murder charges devastating for Aaron Hernandez

GALLERY: Sports figures in handcuffs

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