Alexander Bradley is an admitted drug dealer and ex-con who was hanging around former New England Patriots’ star Aaron Hernandez when things went south. In fact, Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder in Boston after his attorneys tried to point the finger at Bradley instead. Bradley alleged that Hernandez ruthlessly shot him as he slept, costing him an eye.
He was also the prosecutor’s star witness against Hernandez in that double murder, but he proved a complicated one for the state.
Bradley is a key character in the new Netflix documentary that chronicles Hernandez’ downfall, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez. The former New England Patriot star died of suicide in 2017 while serving a sentence for another murder, of Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancee’s sister. How many people did he kill overall? You can read an exploration of that here.
You may have wondered what was wrong with Bradley’s eye. He claimed that Hernandez shot his eye out in an eruption of violence while he was sleeping in a car. However, Bradley is no stranger to violence himself. CNN described Bradley and Hernandez as “best friends” before Bradley claimed Hernandez shot him. He then turned against the former NFL player in court.
Where is Alexander Bradley today?
Bradley Was Sentenced to Five Years in Prison in 2017
In January 2017, a judge sentenced Bradley to serve five years in prison “for shooting up a Hartford bar” in Connecticut, according to The Hartford Courant.
However, Bradley had already served three years in prison by the time he was sentenced. “I’m not the same person I was three years ago,” Bradley told Superior Court Judge Julia D. Dewey, according to the newspaper. “It was a tumultuous time in my life. I was going through some traumatic events.”
As a result of the time he’d already served, Connecticut state inmate records say that Bradley is now on “special parole.” According to Duffy Law, in Connecticut, special parole is “a type of parole that is made part of a defendant’s original sentence,” as opposed to early release from a sentence, which is considered standard parole. Bradley received 5 years of special parole in addition to his prison sentence. Prison records show he’s on parole until 2024.
What happened in the incident? Bradley was shot three times in 2014 by Leslie Randolph after a disagreement outside Vevo Lounge, police said. He then opened fire at the lounge, the newspaper added. No one was hit by the 11 rounds he blasted at the club.
Randolph, a convicted felon, was also arrested in the incident, according to The New York Daily News.
In 2017, Bradley was in the news again when he dismissed a Florida lawsuit he filed against police. The lawsuit alleged police gave CNN photos of him recovering in a hospital after being shot in the face, and he said that violated his privacy, The Boston Globe reported.
Bradley Testified That Hernandez Murdered Two Men Outside a Night Club But the Jury Didn’t Buy It
Hernandez was in college when he met Bradley, and Bradley would bring Hernandez marijuana. Bradley and Hernandez became close friends, and Bradley was with him in 2012 when Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu were gunned down in a car after hanging out in a club.
According to Oxygen, Bradley was the “prosecution’s star witness” during Hernandez’s trial in that case, testifying that Hernandez got upset when one of the victims spilled a drink on Bradley and Hernandez. He claimed that he saw Hernandez shoot the men, emptying five shots in their direction as they pulled up alongside the victims’ car. There was no indication that Hernandez knew Furtado or Abreu.
Bradley testified that Hernandez said, “I got one in the head, one in the chest,” after shooting the two men, according to CNN, which added that prosecutors said the getaway vehicle was found stashed at the house of Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin.
Bradley testified that Hernandez grew paranoid after the double murder and their friendship crumbled at that point, leading up to the shooting. Bradley said they were hanging out in South Florida when Hernandez became worried that police were in a bar, at which point Bradley claimed he responded, “If they are, it’s because of the stupid sh*t you did up in Boston,” according to CNN, which added that this comment made Hernandez upset and led to the shooting later.
He testified that Hernandez shot him while he was sleeping in 2013, a year after the double homicide, and then left him to die, but he didn’t tell police because he wanted Hernandez’s “life,” CNN reported.
Hernandez’s lawyer did a good job challenging Bradley’s account, using his story about the shooting of himself to discredit him overall. In addition to the double homicide, Hernandez was accused of witness intimidation and shooting Bradley in the face “because he feared Bradley would tell authorities about the murders,” CBS Boston reported.
Yahoo Sports reported that prosecutors were able to recover a text message Bradley deleted in which he wrote that he actually didn’t know if Hernandez was the person who shot him. The message to his attorney said: “Now u sure once I withdraw this lawsuit I wont be held on perjury after I tell the truth about me not recalling anything about who shot me.” He had sued Hernandez civilly for the shooting (a suit Hernandez settled in 2016).
At that time, Bradley was a “two-time convicted felon and an acknowledged long-time drugs and guns dealer,” Yahoo Sports reported (you can see an old police report on a Bradley drug accusation here). In addition, Bradley was granted immunity to testify against Hernandez in the double murder case, which was a big concession considering he admitted being in the car when the homicides went down. All of that clearly contributed to the jury’s decision to acquit Hernandez.
Jose Baez, the celebrity defense attorney working for Hernandez, told the jury that Bradley was the real killer and murdered the men over drugs.
The troublesome relationship between Hernandez and Bradley may have been Hernandez’s undoing.
The eye shooting incident occurred after they partied at Tootsie’s strip club in Miami. In the Netflix show, it’s argued that Hernandez became increasingly paranoid after this shooting because he knew Bradley had the means and temperament to retaliate. The show indicates that a security system Hernandez installed in his home – the footage of which was heavily used in court – was in reaction to fears about Bradley’s potential for retaliation. This footage would become key to Hernandez’s conviction for the homicide of Odin Lloyd.
READ NEXT: Aaron Hernandez’s Brain Scans.