Hernandez 'pleads fifth' in response to suit over friend's shooting

Nov. 28, 2013 at 2:36 PM

MIAMI, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has declined to respond to a lawsuit's allegations he shot a friend in the face and abandoned him.

In written responses to the suit, Hernandez said 13 times, "Defendant asserts his rights under the Fifth Amendment and, therefore, declines to respond to the allegations," The Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

The lawsuit was filed in June by Alexander Bradley, 31, who said Hernandez shot him in the face after leaving a Miami strip club in February.

Florida police said employees of a John Deere store discovered Bradley bleeding from the head with his eyes swollen shut. Bradley lost an eye and underwent a series of surgeries.

Bradley initially refused to identify his shooter. Hernandez was named as the assailant when the lawsuit was filed in Florida.

U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Williams has turned down a request by Hernandez's attorneys to postpone the civil trial until murder charges filed in Massachusetts against Hernandez are resolved.

Hernandez is being held without bond on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators are looking into whether Hernandez had a possible role in an unsolved double murder from 2012.

His attorneys argued before the Florida judge that Hernandez could not testify in the civil suit without potentially incriminating himself in the Lloyd killing.

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