Aaron Hernandez associate will waive hearing, face charge of being an accessory in Massachusetts
A man wanted in connection with former football star Aaron Hernandez’s alleged slaying of Odin Lloyd will waive his right to a rendition hearing and be sent to Massachusetts “as soon as possible,” the man’s attorney said today.
Ernest Wallace, 41, turned himself in to police in Miramar, Fla. Friday after learning authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest, defense attorney David Meier said. He is being held without bond while he awaits rendition on charges of being an accessory after the fact to murder.
Wallace is one of three men who prosecutors say were in the rental car that picked up Lloyd in Dorchester late in the night of June 16, hours before the semi-professional football player’s killing in a North Attleborough industrial park near Hernandez’s home.
“Mr. Wallace became aware of the fact on Friday morning that there was a warrant out for his arrest,” said Meier, a former Suffolk County homicide prosecutor “He walked through the doors of the Miramar police department and voluntarily surrendered himself.”
Now in private practice, Meier was tapped last year by Governor Deval Patrick to lead a review of cases affected by the mishandling of drug evidence at a state lab.
Wallace was the last of the trio to be taken into custody; Hernandez was arrested Wednesday, as was 27-year-old Carlos Ortiz, who pleaded not guilty to charges of carrying an unlicensed gun in Attleboro District Court Friday.
Wallace splits his time between family residences in Bristol, Conn., and Miramar, Meier said. Members of Wallace’s family were the first to contact him about representing his client, he said.
Meier, a partner at Boston firm Todd & Weld LLP, declined to say if Wallace was cooperating with police or discuss any details of the case, saying only that he is trying to have Wallace sent to Massachusetts quickly. Police are still investigating the killing, including searching for the gun used in the murder.
For now, Wallace faces a single charge of being an accessory after the fact to Lloyd’s murder. But that could change, according to a spokeswoman for Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter, who is prosecuting the case.
“We’re not anticipating imminently bringing additional charges,” said Yasmina Serdarevic. “But it’s an ongoing investigation. Should more evidence surface, I’m sure that avenue will be pursued.”
Serdarevic called the rendition process “fluid,” and said she was not certain when Wallace might arrive or where he would be held.Dan Adams can be reached at email@example.com. Find him on Twitter at @DanielAdams86.