A second man was taken into custody in connection with the murder charge against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the shooting death of one of his friends. Meanwhile, relatives of the victim prepared for his funeral.
Two men who authorities say were in a car with Hernandez before one of his friends was shot to death are in custody. On Friday, one was charged with illegally carrying a gun and the other accused of being an accessory after murder.
Hernandez was charged with murder this week, and prosecutors haven’t said who fired the shots that killed his friend Odin Lloyd, a Boston semi-pro football player.
Amid the flurry of activity in the courts, Lloyd’s relatives were preparing for his funeral in Boston on Saturday. A relative said the service will be at Church of the Holy Spirit in the city’s Mattapan section.
Lloyd played for the Boston Bandits and was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
Carlos Ortiz, who was arrested in Connecticut but was transferred to Massachusetts to face the gun charge, and Ernest Wallace, who walked into a South Florida police station to surrender, were identified earlier as being with Hernandez and Lloyd the night of his shooting death, a prosecutor said.
Ortiz was charged Friday with carrying an unlicensed firearm in North Attleborough on June 17, the day Lloyd was found shot to death near Hernandez’s home there. Details of the charge weren’t released.
Wallace, whose wanted poster was released Thursday night, surrendered in Miramar, Fla., police said. 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.
Extradition Ahead for Third Man
Police arrested Hernandez on Wednesday at his home and charged him with orchestrating Lloyd’s execution-style shooting. Prosecutors said Hernandez orchestrated the killing because Lloyd talked to the wrong people at a nightclub.
Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace were in a Nissan Altima with Lloyd shortly before his death, Bristol County, Mass., 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 and authorities had conflicting addresses for Wallace there and in Miramar.
Hernandez pleaded not guilty to murder and was denied bail Thursday. Ortiz also was being held without bail pending a court hearing on July 9. Wallace was taken to a jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pending extradition proceedings, police said.
Hernandez’s lawyer argued in court that the case is circumstantial. He said Hernandez, who was cut 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 at the July 9 hearing. He described Ortiz as a “gentle person” and said he will advise Ortiz to plead not guilty.