By Cameron Lovell
Remember Aaron Hernandez? The once All-Pro Tight End for the New England Patriots who was charged and convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Hernandez, 27, is currently serving out a life sentence for this wicked act of violence. However, Hernandez is also being charged for a double homicide committed in 2012 during a drive-by shooting outside of a Boston nightclub; the same year he signed his 5-year $40 million contract extension. On March 20th, the state’s star eyewitness took to the stand to testify against Hernandez in open court.
Alexander Bradley, 34, is also a convicted felon who is currently serving a 5-year sentence after firing shots in a Hartford night club after being shot three times following a monetary dispute. Bradley is the former best friend of Hernandez. They first met through commerce when Bradley was operating as a drug dealer to which Hernandez was one of his customers during his time spent at the University of Florida. Their relationship later bloomed into a close friendship that even Hernandez himself described them as, “inseparable”. Bradley was present on the night when Hernandez allegedly fired five shots into a vehicle and killed Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, thus making him an eyewitness.
Bradley testifies that on the night of the shooting, Hernandez was upset after de Abreu “didn’t pay him enough respect” when they bumped into each other at the club that fateful night. Bradley claims that Hernandez ordered him to pursue the victims following their exit from the club. Bradley obeyed and even ran a red light to pull alongside the victim’s vehicle. It was at this time, Bradley claims, which Hernandez fired five shots into the car and would have fired more but was out of ammo. According to Bradley, both were left “shocked” following the events as they headed back to Connecticut. They decided to hide the car and try to put the entire ordeal behind them.
In the following weeks, Hernandez returned to Patriots training camp and signed his expensive extension while Bradley returned to his usual business ventures as a local dealer. Hernandez played that entire season for the Patriots while also being convinced that private detectives were hot on his trail. It was at this time where Hernandez identified as “Double A”, a self-given nickname drawing a direct correlation to the double homicide. Detectives in Boston had zero leads along with no reason to suspect that a New England Patriot could be responsible. The men believed they had gotten away with murder.
During the offseason of 2013, the men decided to take a rather poorly planned vacation. Bradley and Hernandez were so discombobulated upon arriving to the airport that they left behind their luggage. This was a bold decision as they planned to stay in Florida for at least a week before venturing to Arizona. The pair intended to save some money by staying at a lesser hotel but then decided to blow $10,000 at the local strip club. According to Bradley, Hernandez was rather skittish because he believed they were being followed. This led to them leaving the club around 5 AM. Bradley left his phone behind and Hernandez refused to let him retrieve it.
Later that morning. Bradley recalls that he was woken by Hernandez holding a gun in his face, “right between his eyebrows”. Hernandez pulled the trigger and left Bradley for dead. Bradley was left bleeding to death with a hole in his head in an alley behind a John Deere dealership. When paramedics arrived, they found Bradley in a pile yet still alive. Once he had rested, police began to question Bradley on the incident for which he would not reveal the shooter. Bradley was able to get ahold of a phone and called Hernandez, sought on revenge. Hernandez was shocked to find out that Bradley was still breathing.
On this day, the two men saw each other for the first time since the incident in 2013. Bradley reveals in his testimony that his intentions were to survive, find Hernandez, and kill him. In hindsight, being arrested was most likely the best thing that could have happened to Hernandez because it is very likely that Bradley would have found him eventually and exacted his revenge. The defense has yet to have the chance to cross examine Bradley. Details in this case continue to develop as it appears as though Hernandez is likely to serve additional life sentences in these crimes.