Chicago Bears wide receiver Deonte Thompson testified Monday in the double murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, his former University of Florida teammate.
Thompson, 28, played with Hernandez at Florida and said the two were like brothers.
“We came in together, so our whole class was pretty much tight,” he said. “That’s my guy. I mean, we played ball together. We were in the war together. He was like a brother.”
Hernandez even showed a brief smile when Thompson first pointed him out in court.
Hernandez did show a brief smile as Thompson pointed him out in court. It’s rare to see him react to testimony. pic.twitter.com/kgrVCs3g0B
— Caroline Connolly (@CConnNBCBoston) March 27, 2017
Thompson said he and Hernandez spent a lot of time hanging out during their three years together at Florida, and they remained friendly but rarely saw each other once they were both in the NFL.
In court Monday, Thompson recounted hosting a party on Feb. 8, 2013, five days after his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, won the Super Bowl. He said Hernandez attended the party, at Club 21 in Thompson’s hometown of Belle Glade, Florida.
“We spoke for a brief second,” he said.
In the days after the party, Thompson said he went to Miami “every night,” and Hernandez was one of the people who went with him. On one occasion, he said he went to Tootsie’s Cabaret, a South Beach strip club, with Hernandez and a group of several other friends.
“It’s kind of blurry,” he said. “Those days kind of stack up. Every day we partied.”
Thompson said he met Hernandez’s former best friend, Alexander Bradley, on at least two occasions during that time period, but did not have any close interaction with him.
“I don’t remember seeing the guy that much that week,” he said. “I was intoxicated too, so my judgment may not be the best.”
Thompson is one of several NFL players or coaches on the witness list for the trial. Also included are Patriots coach Bill Belichick, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and former Florida teammates Mike and Maurkice Pouncey.
The jury also heard testimony Monday from club promoter Jeff London, who said that he saw Hernandez slap another club promoter over comments about a loss to the Ravens.
London said he knew Hernandez through his work and would see him frequently at clubs around Boston. He testified about Hernandez’s interactions with club-goers, saying, “He didn’t like to be approached.” He described two incidents where Hernandez got hostile with him. In one case, he said Hernandez called him a “fed” and a “snitch.”
Hernandez’s brother, Jonathan “DJ” Hernandez, was expected to testify for the prosecution on Monday, but Judge Jeffrey Locke pushed that testimony to Tuesday.
Testimony resumed Monday after a long weekend for the jury. They were given Friday off because of an illness going around the courtroom.
During that time, they were asked to read through some-400 text messages between Hernandez and Bradley, the prosecution’s star witness.
Bradley said he was in the driver’s seat when Hernandez allegedly shot and killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after one of them accidentally spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub in July 2012.
Defense lawyers say Bradley killed the men over a drug deal.
Hernandez is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.
Published 2 hours ago | Updated 31 minutes ago