Former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez gunned down two men after a chance encounter inside a Boston nightclub nearly two years ago, prosecutors said Thursday.

The indictment places the gun in Hernandez's hands weeks before he signed a five-year, $40 million contract and went on to catch 51 passes during the 2012 NFL season.

Hernandez was already jailed in connection with a man's 2013 shooting death and was indicted anew on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the July 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the killing last year of Odin Lloyd. He was released by the Patriots last summer after being arrested in Lloyd's death.

According to Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, the 2012 shootings unfolded when Hernandez and an associate went into the Cure Lounge at about the same time as the other men. There's no evidence Hernandez knew the victims. After the men left, Hernandez followed in an SUV and pulled up alongside them as they were stopped at a red light, Conley said.

"Aaron Hernandez fired a .38 caliber revolver multiple times from the driver's side of his vehicle into the passenger's side of the victim's vehicle," killing de Abreu and Furtado, Conley said.

The case remained unsolved for months, but following Lloyd's killing, Conley said, the SUV was found in Bristol, Connecticut, where Hernandez grew up, and the gun used in the double shooting was recovered from a person with ties to Hernandez.


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Hernandez is expected to be arraigned on the new charges next week. He's expected to be tried first in the Lloyd case.

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