ATTLEBORO — A prosecutor today suggested that Ernest Wallace, whom he described as the “right-hand man” of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, was responsible for getting two .22-caliber pistols from Florida to the Boston area.
Bristol First Assistant District Attorney William McCauley spoke at a bail hearing in Attleboro District Court, where a judge set Wallace’s bail at $500,000 cash on a charge of being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Odin L. Lloyd, who was shot to death June 17 in a North Attleborough industrial park.Hernandez, once an All-Pro tight end, is charged with murdering Lloyd as well as possession of illegal weapons. He has has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
Wallace often frequented Miramar, Fla., and two .22-caliber pistols were purchased from a gun store in April near that community. McCauley said authorities have recovered both weapons.
One was recovered by police after Lloyd’s murder from the woods between the industrial park where Hernandez allegedly shot Lloyd and Hernandez’s North Attleborough home, where Hernandez, Wallace, and a third man allegedly went after the slaying.
Prosecutors have previously said that the murder weapon was a .45-caliber pistol, and they have not recovered it yet.
The other pistol was recovered in Providence under a car, where police have said they saw a man who was with Hernandez throw it following a verbal altercation between Hernandez and a bar patron on May 18.
The prosecutor also revealed today that Hernandez financially supported Wallace before Lloyd’s murder — providing him with food, housing, and a car — and that Hernandez continues to support his friend since both have been arrested.
Wallace defense attorney David Meier declined comment today when asked if Hernandez is paying Wallace’s legal bills.
Prosecutors allege Hernandez, Wallace, and the third man, Carlos Ortiz, were in a car early on June 17 with Lloyd when he was driven from Boston to North Attleborough and murdered.
Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and is being held without bail.
Meier told the judge that Ortiz is getting special treatment because he has cooperated with law enforcement in its investigation.
He told O’Shea that any case built on statements from Ortiz, who has a long criminal history, should not be relied on. He asked that Wallace’s bail be set at $10,000 cash and that Wallace be allowed to return to Miramar under GPS monitoring while awaiting trial.
McCauley asked for $1 million cash bail for Wallace, who faces a seven-year maximum penalty and has a criminal history dating back more than 20 years.
The judge picked a number between the two requests, setting bail at $500,000 cash and slating another hearing in the case for Aug. 26.
Today’s hearing came one day after new images of Hernandez were released from district court files that allegedly showed him holding a semi-automatic pistol in his hand in his North Attleborough home minutes after Lloyd’s murder. The images were released after media outlets won the release of arrest and search warrants relating to Hernandez and Wallace.
The images taken by surveillance cameras inside Hernandez’s own home allegedly show, from varying angles, Hernandez with what prosecutors say is a firearm in his hand.
Investigators believe Hernandez shot Lloyd because he was worried Lloyd had information about a double homicide in the South End in which Hernandez may have been involved, law enforcement officials have told the Globe.
The Globe reported earlier this week that a Suffolk County grand jury is considering charges against Hernandez in the slaying of the two men last July, according to two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation.
Surveillance camera video from 12:40 a.m. on June 17 shows Hernandez, his fiancee, and two males entering the house. The video shows Hernandez passing through the living room holding an item that appears to be a handgun, shifting it from hand to hand, according to the documents released Thursday.
The video shows Hernandez and the men leaving at 1:12 a.m., in a silver, four-door Nissan Altima. The car returns at 3:30 a.m., with damage to the driver’s-side sideview mirror, according to the documents.
The same three men can be seen entering the house. Inside, Hernandez goes in and out of the basement and stands at the entrance to the basement again, holding what appears to be a gun, according to the documents.
Authorities allege Lloyd was shot to death around 3:15 a.m.
Hernandez’s fiancee told police the couple installed the surveillance system following a series of housebreaks.