The Commercial Appeal

Conn. man arraigned in Hernandez case


NORTH ATTLEBOROU­GH, Mass. — A man arrested in Connecticu­t in connection with the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was charged with a weapons count, and investigat­ors said a third suspect was arrested Friday in south Florida.

Massachuse­tts State Police said local officers in Miramar, Fla., captured Ernest Wallace on Friday afternoon, hours after a Connecticu­t judge ordered Carlos Ortiz turned over to Massachuse­tts authoritie­s.

New Britain State’s attorney said 27-year-old Ortiz was arrested in Bristol on Wednesday as part of the investigat­ion into the slaying of Boston semipro football player Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez is charged with murder in the slaying of Lloyd near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborou­gh, Mass. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

Ortiz was picked up in Connecticu­t for being a fugitive from justice. He was arraigned Friday in Massachuse­tts on a charge of carrying a firearm without a license in North Attleborou­gh on June 17, the day Lloyd was killed.

Authoritie­s had revealed Thursday night that they were seeking Wallace, who they said should be considered armed and dangerous, on a charge of acting as an accessory after Lloyd’s murder.

Investigat­ors have said Hernandez was with two other men the night of the killing, but they haven’t identified them.

Police arrested the 23-year- old Hernandez on Wednesday at his Massachuse­tts mansion and charged him with orchestrat­ing Lloyd’s executions­tyle shooting, allegedly because the victim had talked to the wrong people at a nightclub.

A judge denied Hernandez’s bail appeal Thursday in a Massachuse­tts courtroom, where a prosecutor said a Hummer belonging to Hernandez had turned up an ammunition clip matching the caliber of casings found at the scene of Lloyd’s killing.

Hernandez’s lawyer argued his client is not a risk to flee and the case against him is circumstan­tial.

On June 16, the night before the slaying, a prosecutor said, Hernandez texted two unidentifi­ed friends and asked them to hurry to Massachuse­tts from Connecticu­t.

A few minutes later, he texted Lloyd to tell him he wanted to get together, the prosecutor said. Authoritie­s say the three picked up Lloyd at around 2:30 a.m. June 17, drove him to an industrial park near Hernandez’s home and shot him five times. They have not said who fired the shots.

Meanwhile, Hernandez’s former team is offering a new jersey to all fans who want to get rid of the one they bought with Hernandez’s name on it.

The Patriots have released him and taken all Hernandez jerseys off the shelf at their souvenir store at Gillette Stadium. Fans can come to the store at the stadium on the weekend of July 6-7 for a free jersey of comparable value.

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