July 5, 2013

Hernandez grand jury to hear from shooting victim

Alexander Bradley claims in a lawsuit he was shot by the former Patriots tight end after arguing in a Miami nightclub.

The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut man who says he lost an eye after being shot by Aaron Hernandez in February was ordered Friday to appear before a grand jury in Massachusetts that is considering the murder case against the former New England Patriots tight end.

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Former New England Patriots football tight end Aaron Hernandez listens during a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court on Thursday in Massachusetts.

The Associated Press

Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander in Hartford ordered Alexander Bradley to appear July 17 in Fall River, Mass., where a grand jury is looking into allegations Hernandez orchestrated the shooting of Odin Lloyd, according to a clerk for the court.

Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, was found slain June 17 near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Mass. Prosecutors say Hernandez arranged Lloyd's shooting because he was upset at him for talking to certain people at a nightclub.

Hernandez has been charged with murder in district court in Massachusetts but a grand jury indictment or probable cause hearing would be necessary for him to face trial on felony charges. Hernandez, 23, has pleaded not guilty.

The Bristol County district attorney's office in Massachusetts said it could not comment on any grand jury investigation.

Bradley, 33, has filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez, asserting he was shot in the face by the former player in February as they were driving in Florida after arguing in a Miami strip club.

At the time, he told police he did not know who had shot him.

Bradley had been fighting an interstate grand jury subpoena, asserting he needed to return to Florida for medical treatment on July 10.

Attorney Robert Pickering argued Friday that Bradley's civil case has nothing to do with the Massachusetts investigation.

"The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is relying on a statement of a lawyer of Mr. Bradley that these crimes are strikingly similar to the crime in the Hernandez matter," he said. "Clearly this petition states that my client has never stated that."

Alexander found that Bradley's medical treatment should not prevent him from being in Massachusetts a week later.

Also Friday, a man wanted as an accessory after the fact in the Lloyd killing was turned over in Florida to Massachusetts authorities.

Ernest Wallace, 41, had been held in the Broward County, Fla., jail since surrendering to police in Miramar, Fla., last week. A Broward sheriff's office spokesman said Wallace was released to Massachusetts officers Friday afternoon.

Wallace's arraignment has not been scheduled, said Greg Miliote, a spokesman for the Bristol district attorney's office. He said no specifics of Wallace's travel would be announced for security reasons.

Prosecutors say Wallace and another man, Carlos Ortiz, were with Hernandez when they drove with Lloyd to an industrial park where Lloyd was shot. Police haven't said who shot Lloyd. Ortiz, who lives in Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn., has been charged with carrying a firearm the day of the shooting.

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