Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Aaron Hernandez trial and a subculture of violence.

‘I plotted to kill Aaron Hernandez after he shot me in the eye’

An admitted drug dealer who bonded with former NFL star Aaron Hernandez over weed, video games and partying testified against his former best friend in a tense courtroom on Monday, claiming Hernandez shot him between the eyes and that he hoped to violently avenge that attack.
Alexander Bradley testified for more than six hours against the former New England Patriots star in Suffolk Superior Court, saying Hernandez shot him in the face in February 2013 in Florida after Bradley made a reference to a double murder in Boston on July 16, 2012.
Bradley, who is serving a five-year prison sentence for shooting up a bar in Connecticut, had testified Hernandez ordered him to pull up next to victims Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu at a stoplight and Hernandez fired repeatedly into the car, killing both men after de Abreu accidentally bumped Hernandez and spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub.
Months later, they were on a hastily planned trip to Florida when a paranoid Hernandez turned on him and left him to die in an alley after shooting him in the forehead, Bradley testified.
The pair — who met while Hernandez was still playing for the Florida Gators, and Bradley became his pot supplier — exchanged a series of duplicitous text messages in the months following the Florida shooting, ranging from pleasantries to thinly veiled threats.
Hernandez, according to text excerpts displayed in court cited by the Boston Globe, said Bradley was trying to set him up for “something I didn’t do.” Bradley, in turn, threatened to sue Hernandez and make his allegations public, if he refused to “compensate” him for the shooting that cost him his right eye.
“Keep going with all these lies to try to bring me down,” Hernandez texted Bradley.
“Cameras in that alley where you thought you killed me,” Bradley replied. “Do you have trustworthy [expletive] like me around you? Doubt it.”
Hernandez, who had identified Bradley as “Lies” in his phone contacts at the time, then told him that he missed him every day.
“I have no friends,” Hernandez replied, but added that he was raised by “the best, and I got myself!”
And after boasting that he recently bought several new guns and a bulletproof vest, Bradley told Hernandez that some of his associates wanted to “do [Hernandez] dirty,” slang for shooting the NFL standout.
“[Guys] wanted me 2 try 2 line u up [I] neva agreed,” Bradley wrote.
In other messages, Bradley warned Hernandez he had “a lot of people to kill” if he wanted to get rid of everyone who knew about his crimes.
Bradley testified that Hernandez became spooked on their Florida vacation and began thinking two fellow customers at a strip club called Tootsie’s Cabaret were actually undercover cops tailing him.
“I said, ‘If they are, it’s because of the stupid [expletive] you did in Boston,’ ” Bradley testified, according to Yahoo! Sports. “He became standoffish. He became upset.”
The pair returned to the club after dropping $10,000 the previous night and then argued over how to split the bill. Bradley realized he forgot his cellphone at the club, but Hernandez refused to turn around. Bradley said he then fell asleep, only to awaken with Hernandez pointing a gun in his face.
“Right between my eyebrows,” Bradley testified.
Hernandez then fired a shot into Bradley’s face. Workers from a nearby John Deere dealership called an ambulance for Bradley, who is testifying for prosecutors under an immunity deal.
Hernandez, who is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 fatal shooting of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, has pleaded not guilty. His attorney claimed during opening statements to the jury that Bradley shot the two men in Boston over a drug deal.
The tension between the two men was palpable Monday as Bradley entered the packed courtroom, years after they had bonded over many hours together in Connecticut, some at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

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