“U left me with one eye and a lot of head trauma.”
So began a contentious text correspondence in March 2013 between Alexander Bradley and former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez.
A month earlier, Hernandez allegedly shot Bradley in the eye in Florida. Bradley, the athlete’s friend and marijuana supplier, wanted compensation from the professional tight end who had signed a multimillion dollar contract a year earlier.
And he began texting Hernandez, threatening to sue if he didn’t pay up.
The ensuing text thread between the men, spanning hundreds of messages over a three-month period, reads like a noir novel, complete with gun talk, taunts, and even professions of love.
The messages were made public in Suffolk Superior Court this week when Bradley testified for prosecutors in the double murder trial of Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in Boston in July 2012.
Hernandez has also pleaded not guilty to a witness intimidation charge for allegedly shooting Bradley in Florida, an act of violence Suffolk prosecutors say was intended to silence an eyewitness to the double murder.
In a text to Bradley on March 28, 2013, Hernandez suggested Bradley wasn’t in his right mind when he leveled the shooting claims.
“I will always be there for u till the day u die but not in the state of mind ur in,” Hernandez wrote. “I don’t kno wat gotten into u after all the years we were inseparable but everything aside ur always on my mind and I love u and always will.”
Later that day, Bradley voiced frustration that Hernandez was “denying this [expletive] like it’s for the lawyer or cops.” He warned Hernandez on April 3 of dire consequences if the athlete failed to contact Bradley’s attorney to discuss a payout.
“Gonna move 4ward with litigations,” Bradley wrote. “Tryna resolve this quietly 4 ur sake. . . . Yo it ain’t a day that go by that I can’t believe u did that 2 ur boy.”
Hernandez again dismissed Bradley’s threats.
“U have no clue,” Hernandez wrote.
“Just kno at the end of the day I will always love u NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS but I kno u kno deep down I am not paranoid nor am I scared.”
Bradley responded April 11, saying he and his crew weren’t scared either and were prepared to respond with violence if necessary.
“Well we 6 strong wit a lot of weapontry so hey u turned this convo into this,” Bradley wrote.
Hernandez replied in a matter of minutes and called Bradley “my brother,” adding that “I have no friends but I was raised by the best and I got myself!!!! (wink wink)”
Bradley, seven years Hernandez’s senior, took partial credit for raising the athlete in a reply text.
“Yeah the 2 best ur real dad . . . [and] me who u know is a real [expletive] wink wink wink,” Bradley wrote.
On April 15, Hernandez informed Bradley that he had not retained an attorney.
“I don’t have a lawyer cuz no need to,” Hernandez wrote. “I have my agent callin ur lawyer . . . so jus wait for the call!!! Love you and can’t believe this.”
Bradley was skeptical, telling Hernandez that if he really loved him, he’d “wanna compensate me 4 doin sumthn like shootin me 4 NO REASON AT ALL AFTA ALL WE BEEN THRU.”
Prosecutors say Bradley was with Hernandez during the South End killings. The defense claims Bradley shot the victims over a drug deal.
In the texts, Bradley also said he would get even, telling Hernandez that he learned “how to get low u pop up when necessary.”
Hernandez responded with his longest text in the thread, telling Bradley on the evening of April 15 that his agent would be in touch in the next two days.
“I MISS U AND LOVE YOU and still watch videos of us having fun every single day and can’t believe this and will keep saying I can’t believe all of this cuz I truly can’t believe all of this [expletive] is goin on!!” Hernandez wrote.
He continued, “think if I would really try and kill u when we were that close!! I wouldn’t and never would wanna hurt u and u kno that. . . . U were all I had and I get tears every day and wake up to this [expletive] [expletive]!!! Love u good nite.”
Bradley replied that same night and likened the Florida shooting to an act of infidelity.
“Not to bother u but feel me on this,” Bradley wrote. “When u did that . . . its like u coming home 2 yr crib n catching ur broad in bed with another [person]. . . . U stole my trust n tore my ego.”
On May 3, Bradley recommended that Hernandez view a hip-hop video in which the artist raps, “I think about my team some of Em that I dealt wit are now the [expletive] that I’m beefing wit.”
“Jus seen the video,” Hernandez replied.
He later told Bradley the Massachusetts club scene is “popping rite now” and urged his estranged friend to “check twitter I’m out here clubbin’ jus different without u!!!”
Hernandez then asked Bradley to meet up with him, and Bradley took exception.
“U talking some meet up [expletive] how dare u try to rock me twice,” Bradley said.
But despite his distrust, Bradley still tried to motivate Hernandez for the upcoming NFL season in a series of texts the following day, on May 5.
“It’s ur time to shine but u got season coming up ur an amazing athlete,” Bradley wrote.
“Unfortunately I won’t get to be at any games this year due to circumstances but u gotta resolve this. . . . I’m not gonna allow u to go on living this high life without compensating me.”
The following day, Bradley accused Hernandez of tailing the mother of Bradley’s child.
“I didn’t see your baby mother,” Hernandez insisted.
“Word to my kids she said the right color truck n the right state plate,” Bradley wrote. “That’s a no go imma tell u again this ain’t no tuff guy [expletive].”
Hernandez was indignant.
“Stop text in me with this dumb [expletive],” he wrote. “I wouldn’t pull up on ur [expletive] bm stop text in me this [expletive].”
One week later, Bradley implicated TL Singleton, the husband of Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Singleton, in the surveillance of his child’s mother. “Not a smart move on tls part or whoever is posted up across the street from BMs [baby mother’s] house but hey luv u,” Bradley wrote.
He raised concerns about TL Singleton in another text May 20, telling Hernandez “i don’t trust tl from the old days when we me n u were airtight n he worries me if u follow me. . . . He is a police ass [expletive] wit a case down south n he knows tooooo much follow me.”
TL Singleton was killed in a car crash June 30, 2013, days after Hernandez was arrested in a separate murder. Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of killing Odin L. Lloyd and is already serving a life sentence.
“I’m worried about his ass and I ain’t gonna say no more I think he ain’t right,” Bradley wrote to Hernandez on May 20, 2013, referring to TL Singleton.
Bradley spent the next two weeks telling Hernandez in texts that the lawsuit was imminent, unless Hernandez’s legal team contacted Bradley’s lawyer.
Hernandez did not respond.
But on June 3, two weeks before Lloyd’s slaying, Hernandez tried to set up a face-to-face meeting with Bradley.
Bradley responded by questioning Hernandez’s standing among his teammates.
“Trust them teammates,” Bradley wrote that morning. “The players don’t like u and them [expletive] u rock wit ain’t official.”
Hernandez told Bradley to follow him when he pulled out of Gillette Stadium, adding that he would be in the same car “u seen me in before so u kno it’s me like gotti said.”
He told Bradley he would not provide the final meet-up location ahead of time.
“I ain’t Givin no place so I could get jammed jus be up and watch me pull out stadium and follow me,” Hernandez wrote.
The meeting plans faltered less than an hour later, when Hernandez wrote, “U ain’t come alone u ain’t stupid. . . . Come to stadium parking lot.”
“I’m not [expletive] wit stadium police and security I ain’t that g,” he wrote back. “All them ex cops and cops and agents u put me on to that. That’s sumthn I learned from u.”
He sent several more texts that day to Hernandez, again threatening a lawsuit and informing him that he had a Mac firearm and bulletproof vest “cause I’m already a felon.”
“U acting crazy,” Hernandez texted back in the afternoon.
Shortly before 4 p.m., Bradley sent another text, this time demanding $1.3 million. Otherwise, he wrote, “the court summons is drawn up.”
By June 11, Bradley had grown tired of waiting.
“So ill watch as it hits tv have fun explaining that to coach n the pats franchise while I’m in boca chilling I never wanted this for u but u made this choice on your own being stupid.”
Bradley initially filed his lawsuit four days before Lloyd was killed. Hernandez was arrested for Lloyd’s murder June 26. Bradley withdrew the suit and then refiled it days before Hernandez’s arrest. The two men later settled, but terms were not disclosed.
Testimony in Hernandez’s double murder trial resumes Monday.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.