Carlos Ortiz changes tune on Aaron Hernandez, indicted as accessory after the fact in Odin Lloyd murder
|09.27.13 at 11:24 am ET|
Two significant developments in the past 24 hours could change the course of the murder case against former Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez. The former NFL tight end stands accused of shooting and killing former semi-pro linebacker Odin Lloyd on June 17.
Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter said Friday that Carlos Ortiz was charged Friday with accessory after the fact in the murder while gun charges against him were dropped.
Authorities say the evidence points to Ortiz, Hernandez and Ernest Wallace, being in the same car with Lloyd when all four men rode from Dorchester to North Attleboro early in the morning of June 17. Ortiz initially claimed that Hernandez and Lloyd were in the car alone at the end of that ride that ended at an industrial park in North Attleboro, where Lloyd was shot to death.
But on Thursday, in Bristol Superior Court, Assistant Bristol District Attorney Patrick Bomberg said the 27-year-old Ortiz has changed his account of the final moments leading up to the fatal shooting of Lloyd. Ortiz previously told authorities that Hernandez and Wallace got out of a rental vehicle with Lloyd in the industrial park where Lloyd was shot multiple times. Ortiz has consistently said that Wallace got out of the car, according to investigators.
But now, according to Bomberg, Ortiz ‘does not think’ Wallace exited the vehicle with Hernandez and Lloyd, Bomberg said during a bail hearing for Wallace on Thursday.
Hernandez has been charged with with being the trigger man in Lloyd’s murder and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is being held without bail at the Bristol County Jail. Wallace – believed by investigators and prosecutors to be Hernandez’s ‘right hand man” – is being held on $500,000 cash bail after pleading not guilty to accessory after the fact to Lloyd’s murder.
Ortiz, in custody on unlawful possession of weapons charges, is now the second man to face accessory after the fact charges. Both Wallace and Ortiz face a maximum of seven years in jail, if convicted. Attleboro District Court officials say Ortiz no longer faces weapons charges that have been pending.