FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - A Massachusetts appeals court on Friday denied the latest effort by prosecutors in Aaron Hernandez’s murder trial to allow testimony about a former friend who claimed the ex-NFL star shot him in the face after an argument in Florida in 2013.
Prosecutors twice before have sought to include testimony about the shooting of Alexander Bradley, but the judge presiding over the trial in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, Susan Garsh, has denied their requests, saying the shootings were “quite different.”
They had argued the Florida shooting case challenged the defense team’s assertion that Hernandez would not have shot the victim in the murder case, Odin Lloyd, because the two were friends.
Lloyd, a semiprofessional football player, was found shot dead in June 2013 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Last year, Bradley filed a civil lawsuit against Hernandez, saying the former New England Patriots tight end shot him in the face in Florida in February 2013 after a late-night dispute. Bradley, who lost his right eye, never filed a criminal complaint.
On Friday, the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County denied an appeal by prosecutors to reverse Garsh’s decision. Associate Justice Robert Cordy wrote that he found “no error” in Garsh’s ruling.
Earlier, at Hernandez’s trial prosecutors showed jurors surveillance video of Hernandez and two other men they have identified as Lloyd and Hernandez’s barber, Robby Olivares, at a Boston nightclub early on June 15, 2013, two days before Hernandez is accused of killing Lloyd.
Prosecutors say Hernandez became upset with Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee’s sister, for associating with people he disliked.
Hernandez and friends Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz picked up Lloyd at his Boston home in the early hours of June 17, 2013, and drove him to an industrial park where his bullet-riddled body was found later that day, according to prosecutors.
Hernandez, 25, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.
Editing by Scott Malone and Tom Brown