(above is the LawNewz Network feed where we are streaming the trial with live legal analysis. If you prefer the raw feed of the trial, it is embedded below as well)
The prosecution’s star witness, Alexander Bradley, testified for a third day in the trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. The former New England Patriots Tight End is accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safir Furtado on July 16, 2012 outside a nightclub after prosecutors say he became angry over a spilled drink.
Bradley was back on the stand on Wednesday to face even more intense cross-examination from defense attorney Jose Baez. Bradley has claimed in prior testimony that he was the driver of Hernandez’s SUV and the football star had to lean over him to fire the fatal shots. He has been the only eyewitness to actually identify Hernandez as the shooter and back up the prosecutors’ claim that it all happened because Hernandez allegedly felt slighted and disrespected over a spilled drink.
Baez reminded jurors of Bradley’s earlier testimony that he had to calm Hernandez down after the incident, allegedly walking the streets and smoking weed with him. He then suggested it was awfully strange that less than two hours later he was suddenly “OK with Hernandez grabbing a gun” and ordering Bradley to pull up next to the victims in the BMW.
WATCH RAW FEED of Hernandez Case:
Bradley responded by reiterating his previous statement that he never expected Hernandez to do anything more than scare the men in the BMW.
“As I was saying, Mr. Baez, I was OK [with it] because I never expected Mr. Hernandez to shoot those individuals,” Bradley testified, seemingly a bit annoyed with the tone of Baez’s question.
Baez and the defense have tried to convince the jurors Bradley was the actual shooter. They continued to paint him as a drug dealer on Wednesday.
Bradley is also currently incarcerated for a 2014 shooting at a Hartford nightclub and is testifying against Hernandez under an immunity agreement from the government.
Bradley and Hernandez’s friendship came to an end when prosecutors say Hernandez shot Bradley in the face in 2013 in an effort to silence him about the 2012 shootings. The defense, however, has insinuated that the 2013 shooting was yet another drug deal gone wrong.
Bradley testified on direct that Hernandez shot him inside a vehicle and then dumped him outside a warehouse, for dead. Baez, however, called that story into question and suggested ballistics evidence placed Bradley outside of a vehicle when he was shot. The attorney then slyly asked Bradley if he hid is own gun after getting shot.
Bradley replied that he did not have a gun during that shooting.
Towards the end of the day’s questioning, Baez mentioned the civil lawsuit Bradley filed against Hernandez over the 2013 shooting, and asked why he then refused to cooperate with police when they investigated? The suggestion could not have been more clear, Baez was suggesting Bradley’s sole intent “was to get money from Aaron Hernandez.”
The tactic worked and Bradley soon admitted money from Hernandez eventually “became his intent.”
Sensing he was getting to the witnesses, Baez pressed further, suggesting Bradley wanted too kill his client.
Bradley admitted that yes, he did. And this was the opening Baez was waiting for, retorting, “because you’re a killer.”
The prosecution immediately objected and Judge Jeffrey Locke sustained the objection.
In addition to fireworks in the courtroom, Judge Locke also had to remind the jurors not to speak publicly or post on social media about the case after a post appeared on Reddit Wednesday afternoon that suggested jurors might be posting online from the jury room. After a delay and questing all of the jurors, the trial continued.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all counts in the 2012 killings.
The former football star is already sentenced to life without the possibility of parole when he was convicted nearly two years ago in another murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd. That case is on appeal.
Baez will continue his cross examination of Bradley on Thursday and LawNewz will have live courtroom coverage and analysis of the action.
[image via screengrab]