Hernandez Pleads Fifth In Response To Lawsuit Claiming He Shot Friend

The Hartford Courant

BOSTON— Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez responded to a civil suit alleging that he shot a friend in the face by asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The lawsuit, filed in Florida by Alexander Bradley, alleges that Hernandez shot Bradley in the eye outside a Florida nightclub in February.

A four-page document filed Wednesday by Hernandez' attorneys, repeatedly states, "Defendant asserts his rights under the Fifth Amendment and, therefore, declines to respond to the allegations" in response to 14 of the allegations in Bradley's complaint.

Hernandez, a Bristol native, has been charged with the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge and several charges of possessing illegal firearms.

Hernandez's attorneys had previously filed a motion to delay the civil court proceedings until after the murder trial was complete. In the motion, Hernandez' attorneys argued that it would be impossible for Hernandez to participate in Bradley's civil suit without potentially incriminating himself in the ongoing investigation into the Lloyd murder.

A Florida judge presiding over the case denied that request earlier this month.

Bradley has until March 13, 2014, to gather evidence to support his claims, according to court documents. On that date, both Bradley and Hernandez will file reports informing the court of the status of both the discovery process and the criminal proceedings in Massachusetts.

Hernandez has been held without bail since his arrest in June.

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