Hernandez case star witness wraps up, making way for his ex

Continuing coverage of the Aaron Hernandez double murder trial »

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is accused of shooting and killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in June 2012, after prosecutors say he felt disrespected when one of the men bumped into him at a nightclub in Boston’s South End and spilled his drink.

Journalists for WBZ-TV, WFXT-TV, The Boston Globe, and WCVB-TV, among other news outlets, have been posting minute-by-minute happenings on Twitter from courtroom seats. This is compiled from those reports on the 16th day of the trial.

BOSTON (WPRI) — “Perjury is just a legal word for liar, right?” asked defense attorney Jose Baez.

“Correct,” said Alexander Bradley. He began Thursday having returned to the stand for a fourth day of testimony, after telling the story of the night of the murders Monday, then facing challenges from Baez on his testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Baez asked him about discrepancies in his testimony and things he told police, including how he told the jury he saw Aaron Hernandez’s cousin the night of the murder, while he’d told police that he hadn’t, then the number of shots fired, having told the police six but then told the jury five.

“If you commit perjury, you’re a perjurer, correct?” said Baez.

“No, I’m not perjuring myself,” responded Bradley.

Baez also went through various text message conversations between Bradley and Hernandez and finally returned to Bradley personally and his drug-dealing.

“You know how to break the law and deal drugs without getting caught?” asked Baez.

“That’s fair,” acknowledged Bradley.

Shortly after, Bradley was allowed to step down and his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his child, Brooke Wilcox, was called to the stand.

Lawyers quizzed her about the day after the killings and how Bradley and Hernandez went to her home in Connecticut.

Hernandez had asked to use Wilcox’s laptop. Evidence presented at trial Wednesday showed online searches for terms like “Boston murder,” and Wilcox said she’d seen Hernandez leave a page loaded about a shooting in Boston.

When Hernandez and Bradley were in Florida, Wilcox testified Hernandez had called her, asking if she’d heard from Bradley — and the memory brought her to tears.

She ended up calling hospitals to try and find him. He eventually called her from a hospital, having been shot in the face.

Wilcox said Bradley had told her he’d been shot by Hernandez.

Later, when the defense cross-examined Wilcox, a lawyer asked about a domestic violence claim she’d made against Bradley. The prosecution objected.

She admitted she filed for a restraining order against him two months after he was shot.

A Boston police detective sergeant, Timothy Laham, was then questioned at length about Wilcox’s laptop and various online searches.

Returning to the Florida scene, Mingle Blake, a truck driver in the industrial park where Bradley said Hernandez shot him, took the stand and testified how he found Bradley seconds after he’d been shot.

Bradley did not answer Blake when asked who shot him.

The attorneys continued to take multiple sidebar conversations throughout Thursday. As of 3 p.m., a count by The Boston Herald’s Laurel J. Sweet showed they’d racked up 14 of the private discussions.

This all followed a minor sensation late in the afternoon on Wednesday, when, after returning from a lunch recess, Judge Jeffrey Locke turned to an inquiry of the jury. It turns out someone appeared to have posted on the online community forum Reddit, in a law forum, claiming to be a juror.

Judge Locke asked the jury if they had made any social media postings. Jurors are typically instructed to not talk about the case outside of the courtroom, even with each other, and certainly to not discuss the case on social media.

The judge took the jury out momentarily, then returned with all 15 jurors, moving on from the matter with a reminder to the jury of the rule of secrecy.