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Review of the Cross Examination of Bradley in the Aaron Hernandez Double murder trial

The Cross Examination of Alexander Bradley had many points where as a criminal defense lawyer I intend to borrow from Attorney Baez’s style.  This was a perfect example of a cross examination of a confrontational and difficult witness who would not want to concede anything to the defense.  While at times it was objected to, I thought Baez commentary, before asking question, such as, I want to be very precise with my questions conveyed to the jury, that this is someone very slick answering questions.  I thought Bradley undermined his own credibility by rather than answering a question, would sometime request to see the document.  It was clear that he had his testimony well planned out.  He conceded that he was very successful as a drug dealer with very few arrests.

Bradley testified that he was a witness to the double murder that occurred on the night of July 16, 2012 in the South End of Boston; Bradley was driving the car that Hernandez allegedly shot out of, killing Daniel De Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

During the direct examination on Monday, Bradley provided the jurors with a detailed and explicit account of what happened. After having a drink spilled on Hernandez at a local Boston nightclub, Bradley exemplified for the jury the anger and agitation Hernandez showed.

Cnn.com has an in-depth article of the alleged night-club incident here, where Bradley was quoted saying “”I knew something was brewing … He was just agitated, and I just knew what would happen.”

Bradley would be impeached on his self-proclaimed peace maker role when Baez asked if he was still being a peace maker when he pulled up the car next to the BMW and reclined his seat back so Hernandez could shot the two individuals.  Bradley did maintain that he did not believe Hernandez would fire the gun, holding firm on his claim that Hernandez shot the two individuals.

Bradley continued, mentioning that when they left the nightclub that night, Hernandez urged him to follow the two men whom were involved in the spilling of the drink. According to Bradley, Hernandez ordered him to “roll the window down and sit back”, which is when shots were fired. Bradley noted Hernandez’s paranoia following the incident and claimed that Hernandez always thought he was being followed by the police.

Defense Attorneys focused cross examination on Bradley’s prior criminal history which includes both drug-dealing and gun charges.  The defense theme is that Bradley fired the shots.

The defense had Bradley read a host of texts that were exchanged between himself and Hernandez which showed Bradley was attempting to get compensation from Hernandez in order to keep quiet about the shootings. Jose Baez pinned Bradley as a liar, mentioning that he purposefully left out text messages that were sent to Hernandez; texts in which Bradley mentioned the wide array of guns he had.

Although Bradley initially chose not to cooperate with police and refrained from reporting the incident in which Hernandez shot him, he noted during the cross examination that he came to the conclusion that he simply “wasn’t going down for something that he (Hernandez) did”. You can read more about the cross examination of Bradley and the defense’s strategy here.

Cross Examination into Bradley has attempted to show that Bradley’s where about cannot be accounted for.  On cross, Baez asked what Bradley was doing after they left the second bar.  Bradley claims he was looking for girls, struck out doing so, but Baez pointed out that he was in the garage.  Further, it was demonstrated that Hernandez took a picture with a fan on the night of the double murder in the back room.  Bradley acknowledged that he did not recall Hernandez going into a back room.

Additionally, cross examination brought out that there is one hour unaccounted for from the time Bradley left Boston to the time he arrived at his girlfriend’s house.  Bradley also claimed that Hernandez threw the gun out of the window of the car after whipping if off, to remove the prints; however, the gun was recovered inside a car and not on the side of the highway as according to Bradley’s version.

Further, on cross regarding the Florida shooting, Bradley would not concede that he did not cooperative because he did not know who shot him.  Bradley was impeached on telling the police it was definitely 6 shots when at trial he testified it was five shots.  He was also impeached on deleting text from his phone.

Baez cross was effective in that he had Bradley admit that he is good at dealing drugs and staying one step ahead of the law, suggesting he may have deleted incriminating text of his involvement in the shooting.  He also was questioned about a text message he sent to his lawyer inquiring about perjury charges.  Bradley came across as very smart and conniving individual.

The defense did a great job planting seeds of reasonable doubt, as Bradley also had a gun offense in Connecticut.  It is certainly plausible as the defense is suggesting that Bradley shot these two individuals relating to a drug transaction.  In his text, he never directly references the Boston shooting.  Further, his claim that Hernandez shot him was undermined by a witness who said that he spoke to Bradley immediately after he was shot and he claimed he did not know who shot him.

I think the defense has established reasonable doubt based on the fact that to convict Hernandez you would have to assume that Bradley is credible; Given his past, the immunity deal, wanting to talk to the police when it fits his agenda, the defense has shown that the Government’s must important witness cannot be trusted, certainly not to an abiding conviction to a near moral certitude and the highest degree of certainty you have in the matter of human affairs, applying that standard I would expect a not guilty verdict.

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