Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

More trouble for Hernandez

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, charged with first-degree murder for what prose­cutors say was an execution-style killing, was denied bail for the second time Thursday.

Meanwhile, WFXT-TV in Boston reported the city's police are looking at the former Florida Gator in connection with a double homicide that took place July 16, 2012. Officers responded to a call just after 2 a.m. that day and found three people shot, two fatally, as they sat in a car at a traffic light, police records say. Hernandez and the victims were seen at nearby club and they had fought, WFXT reported. Police have impounded a sport-utility vehicle rented to Hernandez and that police believe was at the scene, CNN and espn.com reported.

Investigators now believe Odin Lloyd, the man Hernandez is charged with killing June 17 in North Attleborough, Mass., might have had information about Hernandez's role in those deaths, the Boston Globe reported.

A second man was arrested in connection with Lloyd's death. Carlos Ortiz, 27, was taken into custody in Hernandez's hometown, Bristol, Conn., at the home of Hernandez's uncle, New Britain State's Attorney Brian Preleski confirmed.

Authorities charged Ortiz as a fugitive from justice, and he waived extradition to Massachusetts. Prison records show he was being held on $1.5 million bail in Hartford, Conn.

Ortiz admitted he had a firearm while in North Attleborough on or about the morning of June 17, an affidavit said. Ortiz has a criminal record and was on probation while in possession of the gun, the affidavit said.

All documents related to Ortiz's arrest and incarceration have been sealed. Preleski declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Ortiz's public defender, Alfonzo Sirica, also declined to comment.

In Attleboro, Mass., Hernandez's lawyer asked his client be granted bail. He argued his client's celebrity status means even if he wanted to flee, he couldn't and the case against him is circumstantial.

"He wants to clear his name," James Sultan told Judge Renee Dupuis.

The hearing came a day after Hernandez was arrested and denied bail.

Bristol County assistant district attorney Bill McCauley called the evidence overwhelming and said police made discoveries Wednesday when they searched a condo Hernandez had leased and a Hummer registered to him that was parked at it.

Hernandez orchestrated the killing because Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, talked to the wrong people at a nightclub, prosecutors said. Hernandez faces life in prison if convicted.

Hernandez appeared in court with his hands cuffed in front of him and occasionally looked at his fiancee. She cried when Dupuis denied bail. Hernandez showed little emotion.

Dupuis said it is rare for someone charged with first-degree murder to get bail and Hernandez has the means to flee. She acknowledged the prosecution's case is circumstantial but said it is "very, very strong" and called the scenario the prosecution described "cold-blooded."

In other developments:

• Sportswear company Puma ended its relationship with Hernandez. The sides agreed to a two-year deal in April. The company didn't disclose details of the deal but said it didn't involve product endorsements. Nutritional supplement company CytoSport voided its endorsement contract with Hernandez last week.

• The NFL told teams Hernandez cannot be signed until the charges are resolved. New England released him shortly after Wednesday's arrest.

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