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.

Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week

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Dorsett (knee) hoping to be able to practice this week

FOXBORO -- The picture at wide receiver wasn't pretty for the Patriots by the time the clock hit zeros in the fourth quarter in New Orleans over the weekend. 

Chris Hogan looked hobbled for much of the second half. Phillip Dorsett left with a knee injury. Danny Amendola was ruled out well in advance of kickoff with a concussion and a knee injury. Matthew Slater was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Brandin Cooks looked like the only Patriots wideout to finish the game feeling spry.

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But as the team prepares for the Texans this week, Dorsett is hoping he'll be back on the field with his teammates for practice. 

"I feel good," Dorsett said in the Patriots locker room Monday. "Just a little sore, but I'm alright."

Not only would it help the Patriots offense to have another body available at receiver, but Dorsett understands how crucial it is for him to practice as much as possible. He was acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the season, and he knows he has work to do to get adjusted to his new offense.

"It's just me going out there and getting the plays in practice," Dorsett said when asked about his confidence level in running New England's system. "I feel like practice builds my confidence. If I get to play in practice, I feel more comfortable when it comes to the game."

Dorsett looked comfortable in Week 2, catching three passes for 68 yards. His first grab in the first quarter went for 23 yards and came on a play when Tom Brady, who was hit as he released, threw a floater down the right sideline. Dorsett alertly saw the pass falling short and worked back toward the line of scrimmage to make the catch. 

"I think he trusts me," Dorsett said of Brady. "We work a lot during practice and after practice. Hopefully we can continue to gain more trust as the season goes on. It's only the second game. We got a long way to go."

More practice time would be helpful in allowing that relationship to continue to grow. We'll see if Dorsett gets any when the Patriots take the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

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