A Florida judge has rejected a request by lawyers for former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez that a civil suit filed against Hernandez be delayed until after his murder trial.
US District Court Judge Kathleen Williams last week denied Hernandez’s request to delay proceedings in the suit being brought by his former friend Alexander Bradley, who has accused the former Patriot of shooting him in the face.
Bradley, 31, a friend of Hernandez’s who often ran errands for the former NFL tight end, filed suit in Florida in June alleging that Hernandez shot him in the face after the two partied at a Miami strip club in February.
The Bradley shooting first came to light publicly in June, after Hernandez was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the North Attleborough fatal shooting of another man, Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester.
Hernandez, 23, has since been indicted on charges of murdering Lloyd. He is being held without bail.
Bradley was also ordered to appear before a Massachusetts grand jury that is investigating Hernandez’s role in an unsolved double murder from July 2012. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation has told the Globe that Bradley is believed to have information about the shooting near a South End nightclub that left two Boston men dead.
Citing Odin Lloyd’s murder trial and the on-going investigation into the Boston double murder, the legal team for Hernandez had argued that proceedings in the lawsuit should be delayed.
Without addressing the specifics of the case, Hernandez’s attorney’s argued that it would be impossible for Hernandez to participate in Bradley’s civil suit without potentially incriminating himself in the ongoing investigation into the Lloyd slaying.
According to a Florida police report, employees of a John Deere tractor store discovered Bradley near their store, on the ground in the fetal position, bleeding from the head with his eyes swollen shut on Feb. 13.
Questioned immediately after the shooting, Bradley told police he did not know who had shot him and refused to help them find his attacker, prompting them to close the investigation.
Four months later, Bradley named Hernandez as the shooter in the lawsuit. He is seeking more than $100,000 in damages.
Bradley’s civil lawsuit says that he and Hernandez visited Tootsie’s strip club in Miami together and got into an argument while inside. While driving later toward Palm Beach, Hernandez pointed a gun at Bradley and fired — either intentionally or through extreme negligence, the lawsuit alleges. Bradley lost his right eye from the gunshot and underwent multiple surgeries.
Attorneys for both Hernandez and Bradley did not immediately return requests for comment .Wesley Lowery can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.