When there’s an eyewitness in a murder trial, it’s usually a slam-dunk case for the prosecution. But what if that eyewitness himself has a violent criminal past and is the potential perpetrator of the murder being tried.
Or double-murder, as is the charge faced by former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez.
In his second day of testimony, Alexander Bradley – who was with Hernandez when Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were killed in a drive-by shooting in Boston’s South End on July 16, 2012 – was grilled by Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez. Baez tried to paint Bradley as a murderous drug dealer who is throwing Hernandez under the bus for his own benefit, according to the Boston Globe.
Bradley is currently in jail in Connecticut for an unrelated shooting and has been granted immunity for testifying against Hernandez.
Hernandez used to be good friends with and buy weed from Bradley. That relationship ended when Hernandez allegedly shot Bradley between the eyes in in Florida in February 2013 (Hernandez pleaded not guilty). Bradley demanded compensation from Hernandez for being, you know, shot in the head. Those demands amount to extortion, the defense claims, because Bradley threatened Hernandez with guns and “wolves” – “wolves” meaning friends who could inflict damage on Hernandez.
Here’s WCBV-ABC’s report on Tuesday’s testimony.
Bradley testified on Monday that on the night of the double-murder, he was driving the Toyota 4Runner, and Hernandez, sitting in the passenger seat, reached across him and fired five shots into the BMW in which de Abreu and Safiro Furtado were riding.
On Tuesday, Baez tried to pick apart Bradley’s claim that the dispute leading to the double-murder began when de Abreu spilled a drink on Hernandez. In his opening arguments, Baez asserted Bradley shot the two men over a drug deal.
Bradley never wavered.
Also on Tuesday, jurors saw a series of text messages between Hernandez and Bradley, which were, per the Globe, “by turns combative and rueful, with both men saying they loved and missed each other.”
One of those texts sums up where this trial stands as it relates to Bradley’s testimony. Bradley told Hernandez that his daughter asked “when are we going to stay at Uncle Aaron’s again. … I really do love you my boy but again you won’t get away with that” shooting.
According to Yahoo!, Tuesday was a win for the state. Dan Wetzel writes of Bradley’s “high level of intelligence, guile and ability to calculate ways to escape Baez’s cross-examination traps. Bradley refused to concede a single word or point of testimony. … It robbed Baez, who is famed for his ability to decimate witnesses and win seemingly unwinnable cases (see Casey Anthony), of any signature testimonial victories in front of the jury.”
We’ll keep following the trial, but so far, it’s not looking good for Hernandez.