Jury hears from tattoo artist in Aaron Hernandez murder trial

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Jury hears from tattoo artist in Aaron Hernandez murder trial

BOSTON - A California tattoo artist detailed to jurors Friday the violent artwork he inked on Aaron Hernandez that prosecutors say memorialize the former New England Patriots star's killing of two men.

David Nelson testified Friday in a Boston courtroom that Hernandez visited Hermosa Ink in Hermosa Beach, California, in 2013 with a specific tattoo in mind for his right arm.

The former standout right end wanted an image of a revolver with the gun barrel facing forward, as if pointing at the viewer.

Nelson said Hernandez instructed him to draw five bullets visible in the cylinder of the gun and one cylinder empty.

Hernandez also had Nelson ink two separate gun muzzles, a spent shell casing and the phrase "God Forgives" etched backward so that it could only be read in a mirror. Nelson said he also tattooed the phrase "Blood. Sweat. Tears." on Hernandez's right hand.

Prosecutors said the tattoos are evidence Hernandez killed two men in 2012

Authorities said Hernandez fired five shots from a revolver into a car outside a Boston nightclub club, killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Prosecutors said Hernandez killed the men after one of them bumped into him at the nightclub earlier that night and spilled his drink.

Hernandez's lawyers have strongly denied the prosecutor's theories about the tattoos.

During his cross examination of Nelson on Friday, defense attorney Jose Baez appeared to make light of the argument.

At one point, he jokingly asked Nelson if he'd also inked gun tattoos for Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and other celebrities.

Hernandez already is serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who had been dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, in 2013.

Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

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Belichick: Patriots have caught up after starting offseason 'five weeks behind'

FOXBORO -- After starting the offseason "five weeks behind," as Bill Belichick put it, the Patriots have caught up. 

"I think we’re probably caught up to where we are now," he said before Thursday's OTA practice at Gillette Stadium. "I think it’s being behind in draft, free agency and that type of thing.

"I think at this point, we’re ready for OTAs. We’ll be ready for training camp. I think that part of it we’ll be on schedule on. It’s the catching up on all the spring projects, draft and free agency. It’s the initial part of it."

Belichick made headlines on the morning after winning his fifth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots when he said, "As of today, and as great as today feels and as great as today is, in all honesty we're five weeks behind in the 2017 season to most teams in the league. Fortunately we have a great personnel staff

"Look, in a couple weeks we're going to be looking at the combine, obviously the draft, all-star games have already occurred, and in a month we're into free agency, not to mention all the internal Patriots players (whose) contracts are up and we're going to have to work with in some form or fashion like every team in the league does."

Leaning on evaluations of players that began in the build-up to previous drafts, Belichick and his staff opted to trade away some of this year's draft capital for veterans like Brandin Cooks, Kony Ealy and Dwayne Allen. They also gave up their fifth-rounder to sign restricted free agent Mike Gillislee.

Before heading out to the team's third practice of the week -- the first week the Patriots were allowed to introduce helmets and run offense versus defense periods -- Belichick said that part of his focus will be spent on finding out how those players he picked up this offseason are progressing.

"Yeah, that’s definitely part of it," he said. "Seeing the new players, how they’re doing and also how they’re doing relevant to the rest of the other players that I’m a little more familiar with. Again, each year is a new year, so even though we’ve seen some of these guys multiple years, it’s still starting all over again, seeing where they are, how they’re progressing in their training and preparation for the season."