Jose Baez, the attorney for former football player Aaron Hernandez, said Wednesday that prosecutors built their case against his client using the testimony of a Alexander Bradley, a drug dealer in trouble with the law.
The lawyer joined the Law&Crime Network to discuss his new book Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez. Written with the support of Hernandez’s fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, it provides a first-hand account of the double murder case against the late New English Patriots tight end.
“Bradley was facing murder charges,” Baez told Law&Crime Network host Bob Bianchi. “So this was the deal of a lifetime, as we called it.” He added that Bradley was moving 30 pounds of marijuana a month and had been a drug dealer for over a decade.
People in Bristol, Connecticut feared him, Baez said.
“I was in Hartford, Connecticut six months ago, talking to some folks there, just on the street outside of a Dunkin’ Donuts, believe it or not. They all knew Alexander Bradley. He’s legend in the streets of Hartford.”
“To build your entire case around a snitch—that’s a pretty dangerous thing,” Baez said.
Bradley wrote and deleted a message to his attorney, but it became fair game for the defense once he turned over his phone and signed a waiver of confidentiality, Baez said. Hernandez’s defense was able to find it, and used it against the prosecution’s case.
Bradley’s text message showed that he acknowledged not knowing if Hernandez shot him in the face.
Baez, and a legal team including forensic expert and attorney Linda Kenney Baden, won an acquittal for Hernandez in the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
But Hernandez was found dead in his cell from what officials described as suicide. Massachusetts vacated his conviction in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd because the case was still being appealed when he passed away.
Baez recalled that everyone who knew Hernandez “absolutely loved him,” and described his client as a religious man.
“Many people when they’re in their darkest moments, reach to their faith to help them through the tough times,” Baez said. “They talk about all his tattoos, but what most people don’t know is, I would say, 80 percent of the tattoos on Aaron’s body were religious based.”
Note: This article has been updated to inculde more information about the double murder trial.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]