FALL RIVER — A lawyer for a man accused of helping Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriot accused of murder, said today that his client was simply in “the wrong place at the wrong time” on the night of the killing and did not assist the athlete afterward in any way.
John J. Connors, a lawyer for Carlos Ortiz, 27, said after a hearing in Bristol Superior Court that his client “got a ride to North Attleborough to go out with a person who was kind of the hometown hero in Bristol,” referring to the Connecticut city where both Ortiz and Hernandez grew up.
“And the night didn’t turn out the way it should have,” Connors said. “He happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and whatever went on, he had no part in it, from our point of view.”
Ortiz and another man, Ernest Wallace, are charged as accessories after the fact of the June 17 murder of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, whose bullet-riddled body was found near Hernandez’s sprawling North Attleboro home. Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in connection with Lloyd’s death.
Ortiz, Hernandez, and Wallace allegedly picked up Lloyd at his Dorchester home early on June 17 and drove him to an industrial park, where he was killed.
Connors spoke to reporters today after a hearing in Ortiz’s case.
Prosecutor William McCauley told Judge E. Susan Garsh that the government has no objection to Connors’s motion for a bill of particulars, which is a legal document laying out the specifics of what Ortiz allegedly did after Lloyd’s murder to help Hernandez.
Connors said outside court that he expected to receive the document next week.
He added during the hearing that he was reviewing more than 200 CDs and DVDs that prosecutors have provided. “It is going to take some time,” Connors told Garsh.
Garsh scheduled a telephone conference call with Connors and McCauley for Feb. 27.
McCauley said prosecutors expect to turn over more evidence to Ortiz’s lawyers next week.
Ortiz, who is being held on $500,000 bail, wore a beige-colored shirt and tie and showed no obvious emotion, while he sat with his hands cuffed and listened.
Lloyd’s family members, including his mother, Ursula Ward, attended the hearing and left without commenting.
Hernandez is also being investigated for his possible role in a July 2012 double murder in Boston’s South End. He has not been charged in that case.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.