Florida shooting inadmissible in Hernandez murder trial
Aaron Hernandez consults his attorney during his murder trial in Fall River, Mass., March 4, 2015. (REUTERS/Dominick Reuter/Pool)
The judge in Aaron Hernandez's murder trial ruled on Wednesday that jurors will not be allowed to hear about a former friend of the ex-NFL star who claimed Hernandez shot him in the face after an argument in Florida in 2013.
Associate Justice Susan Garsh denied a renewed request by prosecutors to allow evidence related to the shooting of Alexander Bradley, who filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez, saying the incident was "quite different."
Prosecutors had argued the Florida shooting case refuted the defense team's assertion that Hernandez would never have shot the alleged victim in this case, Odin Lloyd, because the two were friends. Lloyd, 27, was found shot to death in June 2013 in an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Lloyd was a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. His girlfriend testified the two were not close but were in the early stages of a friendship and smoked marijuana together.
On Wednesday, Bristol County Assistant District Attorney William McCauley said defense attorneys had indicated 32 times the nature of the relationship between the two men, and "constantly referred to them as being friends."
Defense attorney James Sultan said the motion to allow the jury to hear about the Florida case was "frivolous," and that prosecutors were essentially arguing Hernandez has "a propensity to shoot his friends."
Bradley filed a civil lawsuit in June last year against Hernandez, who he said shot him in the face in Florida in February 2013 after a late-night dispute. Bradley, who lost his right eye, never filed criminal charges.
According to court documents, Bradley had been shot in the face after riding in a car with Hernandez, who allegedly pulled Bradley from the rear passenger seat and left him on the ground in an industrial area.
Prosecutors say the 25-year-old former tight end and two friends, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, picked up Lloyd at his Boston home and drove him to the North Attleboro industrial park.
Lloyd was shot multiple times, and investigators found several empty shell casings from a .45 handgun nearby. They found a similar shell casing that had been removed from a car rented by Hernandez. The weapon has not been found.
Wallace and Ortiz, who also face murder charges, will be tried separately. Prosecutors have said Hernandez orchestrated the murder. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez had a $41 million contract with the New England Patriots. He was cut from the team following his arrest.