ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) - Aaron Hernandez’s alleged accomplice Ernest Wallace waived his right to appear at a probable cause hearing in Attleboro as his case moved out of district court and onto superior court following his indictment last week for accessory to murder after the fact.
Court documents in Massachusetts and Florida indicate the 41 year old Florida resident, who is now locked up on $500,000 bail, may hold some key pieces to the prosecution’s puzzle in the June 17 murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.
Wallace turned himself into authorities in Florida eleven days after Lloyd, 27, was found shot 5 times in a North Attleboro Industrial park that was less than a mile from Aaron Hernandez's home.
Court documents put Wallace outside the car with Hernandez when Lloyd was shot. The third suspect, Carlos Ortiz, who investigators say was inside the car, has not been indicted but is in custody on a gun charge. According to a Florida affidavit for a search warrant, Ortiz told investigators, “Wallace told him that Mr. Hernandez admitted to shooting Mr. Lloyd."
A Massachusetts arrest warrant connected Wallace to the potential murder weapon that has not been found. Prosecutors have said Lloyd was shot with a .45 caliber weapon. Hernandez is seen on surveillance pictures from inside his home, holding a handgun hours before the murder and minutes after shots were heard in the industrial park where Lloyd’s body was found.
According to the the warrant for Wallace's arrest, an unnamed individual believed to be Ortiz was, "instructed by Ernest Wallace to take possession of the firearm" that was inside the rental car that prosecutors say was used to pick up Lloyd and drive him to the industrial park.
The indictment states that Wallace allegedly “did harbor, conceal, maintain or assist” Hernandez with the Lloyd murder, with the intent that the former Patriot football player would “avoid or escape detention, arrest, trial or punishment.”
Wallace’s probable cause hearing was continued to September 23 but a prosecutor told Target 12 they expect to arraign him before that date.
Hernandez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 6. Arraignment dates have yet to be set for Wallace or Hernandez’s cousin Tanya Cummings-Singleton, who was indicted last week for allegedly refusing to testify before a grand jury that was investigating the Lloyd murder. All 3 have pleaded not guilty.
Cummings-Singleton and Hernandez are being held without bail.
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