A month into a life sentence for first-degree murder, former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez was back in court Thursday — pleading not guilty to witness intimidation charges.
Hernandez, sporting a new neck tattoo that reads “LIFETIME,” allegedly shot his friend, Alexander Bradley, in the face after Bradley allegedly talked about a 2012 double murder in the South End.
In February 2013, Hernandez became paranoid inside a Riviera Beach, Florida nightclub, and believing undercover cops were nearby, shushed Bradley, prosecutors said.
According to Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Patrick Haggan, Bradley responded, “It’s probably because of the stupid stuff you did in Boston.”
Bradley survived the shooting but lost an eye.
“We are very serious about witness intimidation and the facts strongly support that that is what occurred,” District Attorney Dan Conley said. “We are doing our job in conducting a completely thorough investigation by introducing these charges.”
Hernandez is currently under indictment for two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder, one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with the deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Sairo Furtado.
“These two victims’ families deserve their day in court,” Conley said.
Those charges also address shots fired at three surviving victims, including a 26-year-old man who was wounded during the incident on Shawmut Avenue in the early hours of July 16, 2012.
Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd on June 17, 2013. He was arrested a few days later and was convicted last month.
While the Bradley shooting occurred out of state, Massachusetts law covers witness intimidation that occurs out of state.
Hernandez is due back in court on June 4