Court papers reveal prosecutors abandon Carlos Ortiz as witness against Aaron Hernandez
|02.01.14 at 10:29 am ET|
At least one murder case against 24-year-old Aaron Hernandez appears to be turning in the favor of the former Patriots tight end.
Carlos Ortiz, the star witness against Hernandez in the murder of Odin Lloyd, will not be called as a witness in the trial against Hernandez. Hernandez stands charged with first-degree murder of the former 27-year-old semi-pro linebacker this past June. He was charged in late June and immediately cut by the Patriots.
Various reports early on in the case indicated that Ortiz became the star witness based on information apparently obtained from him in the course of search and arrest warrants.
On Friday, it became apparent from paperwork filed in court, and obtained by the Taunton Daily Gazette, that prosecutors view Ortiz as “completely unreliable” based on the fact that his allegations against Hernandez had changed significantly.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutors want to review Hernandez’s phone conversations in search of ‘coded messages’ that could show Hernandez was talking about the murder of Lloyd with his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, and/or his cousin, Tanya Singleton.
Prosecutors plan to argue that Hernandez discussed Lloyd’s murder in coded fashion, which allegedly included Hernandez’s “belief about his criminal liability” and the “extent of his control over persons charged as accessories.”
Now, without witness Ortiz, allegedly in the car with Hernandez when Lloyd was shot, it figures to be much, much harder to prove Hernandez guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Authorities still have the chance to call the other alleged passenger in the car, Ernest Wallace, but they also have serious doubts about his credibility in testifying against Hernandez in the case.
This case seems much more murky than the double-homicide case being prepared against Hernandez. In January, Bristol (Conn.) police filed an affidavit in which they suggest an SUV found at Hernandez’s uncle’s home in Connecticut may have been involved in a double-murder in Boston in July 2012.
Bristol police believe there is “probable cause to believe Hernandez was operating the suspect vehicle used in the shooting deaths, and may have been the shooter,” in the July 2012 murders of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, according to the affidavit.