Carlos Ortiz, Friend of Aaron Hernandez, Is Charged with Accessory to Murder

Until now, he'd faced lesser charges than either Hernandez or their third associate, Ernest Wallace.

Associated Press

Associated Press

Carlos Ortiz, a friend of Aaron Hernandez who allegedly accompanied him on the night of Odin Lloyd’s death, has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact. That’s complicating the idea that he might serve as a star witness in the case against Hernandez.

Ortiz is one of the three men who allegedly rode in a car with Lloyd to the industrial park where his body was later found. Until now, he’s faced lesser weapons charges than either Hernandez or Ernest Wallace, who is also being charged with accessory to murder. There’s been suspicion that Ortiz was being more cooperative and helping prosecutors. In the apparent absence of physical evidence proving Hernandez pulled the trigger, would presumably value an eyewitness account from someone who was there. Today’s indictment, however, maybe suggests that he won’t be the key to the prosecution’s case.

On that note, the indictment comes just one day after Wallace’s bail hearing Thursday, where prosecutors noted that Ortiz had slightly altered his version of what happened when the four men arrived to the industrial park. Initially, he said “at least a half-dozen times” that both Wallace and Hernandez got out of the car with Lloyd while Ortiz remained inside. Now, Ortiz says he “does not think” Wallace got out of the car.

Obviously, defense attorneys would point to this as evidence that Ortiz’s version of events isn’t reliable, but prosecutors denied that it weakened their case. We’ll see about that, but not fully until Hernandez stands trial, probably next fall.