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Jury Hears Testimony From Aaron Hernandez's Tattoo Artist

BOSTON (CBS) – Aaron Hernandez's tattoo artist took the stand on Friday after the judge denied a defense motion to suppress his testimony.

David Nelson was questioned earlier in the week without the jury present to determine if his testimony would be allowed at trial.

On Thursday the judge decided to allow testimony from Nelson, who says he gave Hernandez two tattoos about eight months after the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furatdo outside a Boston nightclub in 2012.

"Consequently, they are admissible because, in my discretion, the probative value of the proffered evidence outweighs any potential prejudice to the defendant," Judge Jeffrey Locke said in his ruling.

Tattoo Artist David Nelson
Tattoo artist David Nelson testifies on Friday, March 17. (WBZ-TV)

Nelson said during a voir dire session Wednesday that Hernandez first came into his California tattoo studio with his girlfriend for a tattoo that said "Remind me that we'll always have each other."

On a second occasion, Nelson said he gave Hernandez tattoos of "A semi-automatic handgun, one spent shell casing, and a cylinder from a revolver with five out of the six bullets remaining."

In addition, Nelson told the courtroom that he gave Hernandez tattoos of a semi-automatic hand gun with smoke coming from it, and the words "God Forgives."

hernandez-tattoo-closeup-1
A closeup shown in court of Aaron Hernandez's tattoos, including the cylinder of a revolver with five bullets and the words "God Forgives." (WBZ-TV)

When Nelson took the stand on Friday, the judge told jurors his testimony should not be used to determine Hernandez's character.

Nelson testified that Hernandez wanted "God Forgives" tattooed backwards so he could read the words in the mirror.

In across-examination, Nelson admitted that gun tattoos are very common. Defense attorney Jose Baez noted that Rihanna and Angelina Jolie are among the celebrities who have guns tattooed on their bodies.

During a lighter moment in testimony, Baez asked Nelson if he tattooed a gun onto Rihanna's body.

After the prosecution objected, Locked said "Overruled. Rihanna's body may stand," which led to some laughter in the courtroom.

Prosecutors have said previously that the tattoos are a confession.

Cross-examination of Nelson was paused around 1 p.m. for an afternoon lunch break.

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