Four more people were selected Tuesday morning as jurors in the double murder trial of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, including a retiree who said he was “looking for something to do” and another man with a criminal record.
The selection of the two men and two women Tuesday morning in Suffolk Superior Court brought the total number of jurors in the case to seven.
Sixteen jurors will ultimately be selected, with four designated as alternates before deliberations begin.
One juror selected Tuesday, a man in his 70s, was informed by Judge Jeffrey Locke that he could be exempted from service because of his age.
The man, however, said he wanted to serve on the jury.
“I’m retired,” he said. “Maybe I’m looking for something to do.”
He also said he had fond memories of sitting on a jury in a prior federal lawsuit that involved submarine technology.
“I just had a great time, strangely enough,” the man said.
He also said he knew about Hernandez’s prior murder conviction. That prompted defense attorney Jose Baez to ask him to look Hernandez in the eye and say whether he could judge the case fairly, based on Hernandez’s presumption of innocence.
“Absolutely,” the man said, looking squarely at Hernandez, who was seated just a couple of feet away at a conference table. “Yeah.”
Another man selected for the jury, who appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s, said he also heard about Hernandez’s prior murder case but said he could keep an open mind about the pending double slaying.
“If he’s guilty of one, he might not be guilty of another,” the man said.
He also said he was arrested in 2000 for a marijuana-related offense and received a one-year suspended sentence.
Under questioning from Locke, he said he harbored no bias against law enforcement.
“I kind of feel like I put myself in the position” to get arrested, he said.
Another juror selected Tuesday, a woman identified as Juror 89, has also had prior dealings with law enforcement.
Her romantic partner, she said, was previously arrested on a charge of assaulting someone with a shovel, and he paid a fine to resolve the case without trial.
“He was fairly treated” by police, the woman said.
Baez also asked her to look Hernandez in the eye and say whether she could follow the judge’s instructions at trial about a defendant’s presumption of innocence.
“I can absolutely do that and follow the instructions,” she said, while locking eyes with Hernandez.
The fourth juror selected in the morning session Tuesday, a woman in her 20s, said she served on a Suffolk County jury in 2009 that deadlocked in a shooting case.
“I thought it was very interesting,” she said of that trial. “I learned a lot from the case.”
She also said her sister worked for a time as a paralegal for a Florida public defender. Her sister’s work history would not cause her to favor either side, she said.
Hernandez, 27, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder for the drive-by shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston’s South End in July 2012.
He is already serving a life sentence for the June 2013 fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester. The state’s highest court will automatically review his first-degree murder conviction in that case at a later date.