Friday, May 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All suspects in Hernandez case in custody

ATTLEBORO, Mass. — Two men authorities say were in a car with Aaron Hernandez before a friend of the former Patriots tight end was fatally shot were in custody Friday, one charged with illegally carrying a gun and the other accused of being an accessory after murder.

Prosecutors, who this week charged Hernandez with murder, haven't said who fired the shots that killed Odin Lloyd, 27, a Boston semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

Carlos Ortiz, 27, who was arrested in Connecticut but transferred to Massachusetts to face the gun charge, and Ernest "Bo Fish" Wallace, 41, who walked into a Miramar police station in South Florida to surrender, were identified earlier as being with Hernandez and Lloyd the night of Lloyd's death, a prosecutor said.

Ortiz was charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm in North Attleborough on June 17, the day Lloyd was found shot to death near Hernandez's home in the town. Details of the charge weren't released.

Authorities had been seeking Wallace on a charge of acting as an accessory after Lloyd's murder. Details of that allegation also weren't released.

Police arrested Hernandez on Wednesday at his home and charged the former Gator with orchestrating Lloyd's execution-style shooting. Prosecutors said Hernandez, 23, orchestrated the killing because Lloyd talked to the wrong people at a nightclub.

Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace were in a car with Lloyd shortly before his death, Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter said.

"We now have in custody the three individuals who were in the silver Nissan Altima," Sutter said Friday when Ortiz was arraigned on the gun charge in Attleboro District Court.

All three men have ties to Bristol, Conn.: Hernandez grew up there. Ortiz had been living there. Authorities had conflicting addresses for Wallace in Bristol and Miramar.

Hernandez has pled not guilty and was denied bail Thursday. Ortiz was being held without bail pending a July 9 hearing. Wallace was taken to jail in Fort Lauderdale pending extradition proceedings, police said.

Hernandez's lawyer argued in court the case is circumstantial. He said Hernandez, who was released by the Patriots the day he was arrested, wanted to clear his name.

Ortiz's attorney, John Connors, said he will seek bail for his client. He described Ortiz as a "gentle person" and said he will advise Ortiz to plead not guilty.

It was unclear if Wallace had a lawyer. He couldn't be reached for comment in jail.

Wallace's surrender surprised Miramar police. He walked into the police station and told officers a warrant was out for his arrest, which officers confirmed by checking a computer database. "He stated he knew he had a warrant because he saw himself on TV," Miramar police Officer Gil Bueno said.

Meanwhile, Lloyd's relatives were preparing for his funeral today in Boston.

In other news, authorities said they will examine Hernandez's array of tattoos for symbols that might suggest a link to gangs.

"We'll be looking at his tattoos to see if there are any symbols that affiliate with gangs," Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson told the Boston Herald on Thursday. "We have to always be vigilant around security and not place him somewhere where there are rival gang members."

Jorja Leap, an adjunct professor of social welfare at UCLA who is an expert on Los Angeles gangs, told the Herald that Hernandez could be in danger if he does have gang ink: "(He) could be a very appealing target for someone who wants to make a reputation for himself. The sheriff needs to be extra careful with someone like Hernandez."

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