(AP) Aaron Hernandez associate indicted as accessory
FALL RIVER, Mass.
A second associate of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been indicted on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact in the killing of Hernandez’s friend, the Bristol County district attorney said Friday.
A grand jury indicted Carlos Ortiz on a single count in connection with the killing of Odin Lloyd, District Attorney Samuel Sutter said. Until now, Ortiz had been facing only a gun charge in connection with the case. He pleaded not guilty to that charge.
Ortiz’s attorney, John Connors, said Friday that the indictment wasn’t unexpected. He said Ortiz will plead not guilty to the new charge and that he will make an argument for bail but had no further comment. A hearing on the gun charge that was scheduled for Friday will not go ahead.
Given the indictment, Ortiz’s case will now shift to superior court in Fall River. His arraignment there has not been scheduled.
Lloyd was found shot to death on June 17 in an industrial park in North Attleborough, Mass., near Hernandez’s home. Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend.
Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and weapons charges in Lloyd’s death and is being held without bail at a county jail. Prosecutors say Hernandez was upset with Lloyd for talking to people at a nightclub a few days earlier with whom he’d had problems.
Prosecutors say Ortiz and another associate, Ernest Wallace, were with Hernandez and Lloyd on the night Lloyd was killed. Wallace has also been indicted on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact. He has pleaded not guilty and been ordered held on $500,000 bail.
During Wallace’s bail hearing Thursday, prosecutors revealed that Ortiz, one of their key witnesses, has changed his story about the night of the killing. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Bomberg said Ortiz had told authorities at least a half-dozen times that both Hernandez and Wallace got out of a car, along with Lloyd, at the industrial park before Ortiz heard shots ring out.
But according to Bomberg, Ortiz now says he doesn’t believe Wallace got out of the car.
Ortiz’s attorney had no comment on the new information from prosecutors.