FALL RIVER — A cousin of Aaron Hernandez will stand trial in August on a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to testify before a grand jury hearing evidence in the murder that the former New England Patriot is accused of committing, a judge ruled on Friday.
During a hearing in Bristol Superior Court, Judge E. Susan Garsh set an Aug. 12 trial date for Tanya Singleton, 38, of Bristol, Conn., on the charge.
Singleton also faces an accessory charge in the slaying of Odin L. Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home last June.
Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in Lloyd’s murder and is being held without bail.
Singleton’s lawyer, E. Peter Parker, argued unsuccessfully Friday to combine the contempt and accessory cases into a single trial, in part because the allegations are related and separate proceedings would be prejudicial to his client.
But Garsh rejected the bid.
“I do find that these offenses are not related offenses,” she said. “And that as unrelated offenses, joinder is not in the best interest of justice.”
Prosecutors say that Singleton helped Ernest Wallace, a Hernandez associate charged as an accessory after the slaying, travel to Florida after the killing. In addition, prosecutors say she discussed helping Carlos Ortiz, who also faces an accessory after the murder charge, flee to Puerto Rico.
Ortiz and Wallace were with Hernandez in the vehicle that took Lloyd to the scene during the early morning hours when he was killed, according to authorities.
Singleton is charged with contempt after she allegedly refused to testify before a Bristol County grand jury after being granted immunity to do so.
Prosecutor William McCauley said Friday that the contempt and accessory allegations against Singleton are unrelated and should not be addressed in one trial.
Garsh indicated that she may consider pushing the contempt trial back, if necessary, due to Singleton’s health issues.
Parker said Singleton, who is free on bail and being treated for breast cancer, has made four emergency visits to the hospital in recent weeks after adverse reactions to chemotherapy.
Separately on Friday, prosecutors filed a document, called a bill of particulars, laying out how Ortiz allegedly helped Hernandez after the murder.
Ortiz helped Hernandez and Wallace escape arrest “through flight from the scene,” took possession of a firearm that was not the murder weapon, disposed of his phone and clothing, helped return the rental vehicle used in the slaying, and lied to police, among other actions, the filing said.
Ortiz’s lawyer, John J. Connors, disputed that account.
“Our view is that Mr. Ortiz went to North Attleborough to have a night out with a guy who was a hero in his hometown” of Bristol, Conn., Connors said. “What happened, happened. But our view is that he had no part in that, and all he did afterwards was go back to Connecticut.”Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com.