FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — A man who sued Aaron Hernandez over being shot in the face in Florida testified Wednesday in the former New England Patriots player's murder trial that Hernandez thought he was being followed by helicopters and that he was paranoid about his conversations being recorded.
But the judge ruled that Alexander Bradley, whose face is disfigured because of the shooting, could not testify before a jury about that. Instead, Bradley was allowed to tell jurors about how Hernandez had said he had a difficult time trusting people, including his friends.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancÃ©e. His body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough.
Bradley, Hernandez's former friend, is one of the last witnesses for the prosecution, which is expected to rest its case Thursday after testimony from a medical examiner.
Bradley said Wednesday outside the presence of the jury that Hernandez was "unreasonably suspicious," a phrase the judge had struck from the record. Bradley also said that Hernandez told him he thought law enforcement was following him and that a member of the Patriots organization warned him that iPhones could surreptitiously record conversations, making Hernandez wary of them.
Bradley gazed intently at Hernandez before testifying in front of the jury. He has alleged that he got into an argument with Hernandez after leaving a Florida strip club in February 2013 and was shot between the eyes and dumped in an industrial area.
The judge previously ruled that the prosecution was not allowed to question Bradley about the shooting. Hernandez has not been charged in Bradley's shooting, but Bradley sued him.
Instead, the prosecution focused on the contents of a black box that Bradley said he always saw in Hernandez's basement, where Bradley would sleep whenever he stayed over at his house.
Bradley told the jury he saw a "firearm, money and marijuana joints" when Hernandez would open the box, which he said was usually to retrieve marijuana. The firearm, Bradley said, was a silver semi-automatic pistol.
On Monday, Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, testified that she got rid of a box in the basement after Hernandez asked her to. She said the box smelled like marijuana.
Bradley also testified that shortly after the birth of Hernandez's daughter in November 2012, Hernandez asked him to be the child's godfather. Asked about his relationship with Hernandez before February 2013, Bradley described it as "solid," saying they were "good friends."
The defense attempted to damage Bradley's credibility on cross-examination by asking Bradley about several pending criminal charges against him, including firearms violations.
But the prosecution was quick to point out that Bradley's charges are unrelated to Hernandez's trial and that Bradley did not accept a plea deal for testifying, though he did receive immunity.