New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was accused in court documents last week of shooting a man in Florida in February, even as he remains linked to a homicide investigation in Massachusetts.
A lawsuit filed in federal court on June 13 accuses Mr. Hernandez of shooting a Connecticut man in February after an argument at a Miami strip club.
The lawsuit, first reported by TMZ, was brought by Alexander Bradley, whose lawyer has done personal assistance work for Hernandez.
Mr. Bradley did not name Hernandez as the shooter when Florida police investigated the incident at the time, and the case was closed without filing charges, reports The Boston Globe.
Bradley’s lawyer told ABC News that the lawsuit was voluntarily discontinued because the language describing the injuries was incorrect, but that it was being refiled Wednesday.
In the Massachusetts homicide investigation, the name of the man found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home Monday was released. The man was 27-year-old Boston resident Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player for the Boston Bandits, according to the office of Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter.
Mr. Lloyd’s family told reporters he was an “associate” of Hernandez but refused to comment further.
The Boston Globe reports that an autopsy ruled Lloyd's death a homicide, although police did not confirm that with the Associated Press.
Neighbors told The Boston Globe that Lloyd was often seen in the neighborhood driving cars with Patriot decals and was thought to be dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend. Police searched Hernandez's home Tuesday night in connection with the investigation.
At a different time, state troopers found a gun while searching the woods and yards of homes between the crime scene and Hernandez’s house, but ballistics tests determined it was not the weapon that killed Lloyd, reports ABC News.
The Bristol County district attorney’s office released a statement Wednesday asking the public for help finding a silver side-view mirror that may have broken off a car between Dorchester, Mass., and North Attleborough, Mass., but did not release information about why the mirror is important or whose car it may have come from.
While Sports Illustrated cited an anonymous source saying Hernandez is not a suspect in the homicide, sources told CBS Boston that he has not been ruled out as a suspect.
Ropes & Gray, the law firm representing Hernandez, issued a statement Wednesday declining to discuss the case. “It has been widely reported in the media that the State Police have searched the home of our client, Aaron Hernandez, as part of an ongoing investigation,” Michael Fee of the law firm said in a statement. “Out of respect for that process, neither we nor Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion.”
North Attleborough, where Hernandez owns a $1.3 million, 5,600-square-foot home, is about 40 miles south of Boston and 10 miles away from Foxborough, Mass., where the New England Patriots play. The town is home to several Patriots players, and Hernandez bought his house from former Patriot Ty Warren.
Hernandez, a fourth-round draft pick for the Patriots in 2010, paired with Rob Gronkowski to form one of the top tight end duos in the National Football League. A Pro Bowl selection in 2011, Hernandez has 175 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in 38 games. He missed 10 games last season with an ankle injury and had shoulder surgery in April, but is expected to be ready for training camp.
Last summer, the Patriots gave him a five-year contract worth $40 million.
NFL team sources told The Boston Globe in 2010 that multiple failed drug tests for marijuana as a college player at the University of Florida may have caused Hernandez to drop in the NFL draft.
Hernandez "told teams at the NFL Scouting Combine that his drug use stemmed from the 2006 death of his father, Dennis, who died of complications following surgery while Hernandez was a junior at Bristol Central High in Connecticut," writes the Globe.
“Depending on who you talk to, some people thought he was a late first- or early second-round prospect. Eventually, the risk was overcome by the value,” one pro scout told the Globe at the time.