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Connecticut police hunt crony of accused ex-NFL star Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, stands during his arraignment in the Bristol County Superio
Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, stands during his arraignment in the Bristol County Superio

By Richard Valdmanis

BOSTON (Reuters) - A man who says he was shot in the face by ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez is being sought by Connecticut police after he skipped a court appearance related to a double-homicide probe in Massachusetts targeting Hernandez.

Hartford Superior Court Judge Joan Alexander issued an arrest warrant for Alexander Bradley after he failed to show up for a Tuesday hearing on whether he should be compelled to testify as an "interstate witness," a court clerk confirmed on Wednesday.

Massachusetts authorities believe Bradley may have information related to a drive-by killing of two men, Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in Boston in July 2012, a source familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity. Bradley's lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, declined to comment.

Bradley, a former friend of Hernandez, has sued the former New England Patriots tight end, alleging that he shot him in the face. Hernandez is in jail awaiting trial on a murder charge, and has also become a focus of the investigation into the unsolved Abreu and Furtado killings.

Bradley claims Hernandez shot him in the face last February, in a dispute after the two men visited a Miami strip club, according to a civil suit Bradley filed in June. Bradley claimed he lost an eye in the incident.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts, declined to comment on Bradley or the alleged links to Hernandez. He said no official suspects have yet been identified in the 2012 double-murder case.

Hernandez was arrested June 26 and the Patriots cut him from the team. Authorities allege that he orchestrated the execution-style murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found less than a mile from Hernandez's house in southern Massachusetts.

Hernandez pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last week as Lloyd's family members wept, and his lawyers called the prosecution's case weak. A lawyer for Hernandez did not respond to requests for further comment on Wednesday.

Before his arrest in the Lloyd case, Hernandez starred as a flashy tight end in the high-powered passing attack of the Patriots, a perennial top team in the National Football League. His long-term contract was worth about $40 million.

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Scott Malone and David Gregorio)

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