Criminal Justice

Lawyer for shot man suing ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez: 'You can't make this stuff up'


When New York attorney David Jaroslawicz filed a federal civil suit June 13 against a New England Patriots football player, it might have seemed like an uphill battle to persuade authorities that Aaron Hernandez and two other men had left his client for dead, as Jaroslawicz says he now believes they did.

But events have since transpired that could add weight to his client’s story. Jaroslawicz’ client, Alexander Bradley, who says he was a friend and sometime employee of Hernandez, alleges in the suit that he was shot in the face Feb. 13 while in a vehicle with Hernandez and the other two men after leaving a South Florida strip club. Bradley was found injured and bleeding in an industrial park about an hour away from the club and is seeking more than $100,000 in compensation for his injuries, USA Today recounts.

Last week, Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Massachusetts. He is accused of orchestrating the shooting death of a semi-pro football player and friend, Odin Lloyd, who was found shot to death in an industrial park about a mile away from Hernandez’s home. The Boston Globe reports that prosecutors say surveillance camera footage shows Hernandez and two other men picking Lloyd up in Boston on June 17, eventually driving to the industrial park, and returning to Hernandez’s home, where Hernandez is seen holding a handgun.

Meanwhile, the Globe and CNN are reporting, based on information from two unidentified law enforcement officials, that Hernandez is also under investigation in the Boston drive-by shooting deaths of two other men a year ago.

Hernandez was cut by the Patriots on Wednesday within two hours of his arrest in the slaying of Lloyd and is being held without bail in that murder case. The Patriots have taken his jersey off the shelves of their souvenir store and are offering fans a chance to trade in their Hernandez jerseys for a free new jersey of similar value, the Associated Press reports.

“You can’t make this stuff up. When I filed this simple lawsuit for Mr. Bradley’s injuries, the last thing I expected was they would find a dead body near his house and he’d be under investigation to two other dead bodies,” Jaroslawicz told USA Today. “That’s not what I expected when we filed our simple lawsuit.”

A NECN article provides a link to Bradley’s suit (PDF), which was filed in federal district court in Miami with the help of local counsel. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages for alleged negligence and an unspecified intentional tort.

The suit was voluntarily dismissed (PDF) a few days later, the article notes, but Jaroslawicz said that was simply to correct a factual error in the allegations of Bradley’s injuries.

The articles don’t include any comment from Hernandez or his counsel about the civil suit.

He has pleaded not guilty in the criminal case, and his lawyers have called it circumstantial.

“There is no eyewitness testimony,” said his lawyer, James Sultan, at a Massachusetts court hearing last week as he unsuccessfully argued for $250,000 bond. “There has been no indications of any direct evidence as to who shot the decedent, who was present when the decedent was shot, whether there was a plan to kill the decedent, and any other indication that if there was such a plan, Mr. Hernandez was part of it.”

Hernandez, he said, wants to go to trial and clear his name and could not flee even if he wanted to because of his well-known face and extensive publicity about the murder case.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez charged with murder and axed from team”

ABC News: “Aaron Hernandez Murder Case Points to 2012 Double Homicide as Possible Motive”

CNN: “Two more arrested in Aaron Hernandez murder case”

Sun Sentinel (reg. req.): “Suspect in Aaron Hernandez case appears in bond court”

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