Meridian Star

Sports

July 9, 2013

Co-defendant in Hernandez case ordered held

—     ATTLEBORO, Mass. — A man facing an accessory to murder charge in the case involving former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was ordered held without bail on Monday, and a judge ruled that search warrants that had earlier been sealed may be released.

    Ernest Wallace pleaded not guilty in District Court in Attleboro, Mass. The Miramar, Fla. man will be held without bail until another hearing on July 22, under an agreement between his attorney and prosecutors.

    Details of the charge against Wallace — accessory to murder after the fact — were not released during the brief proceeding. Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter declined comment on the specific allegations outside the courthouse, citing the ongoing investigation into the death of Odin Lloyd.

    Lloyd, a semi-pro football player, was found slain on June 17 at an industrial park in North Attleborough not far from Hernandez's home. The 27-year-old Lloyd's relatives say he was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee and that the two men were friends.

    Prosecutors say Wallace, 41, and another man, Carlos Ortiz, were with Hernandez when they drove with Lloyd to the industrial park. Authorities say Hernandez orchestrated the killing because he was upset at Lloyd for talking to certain people at a nightclub a few days earlier; they have not said who fired the fatal shots.

    Wallace did not speak during the hearing but mouthed "I love you" to some people sitting in the courtroom before he was led out. Defense attorney David Meier did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

    A member of the Lloyd family declined to comment outside the courthouse, saying she would wait until the case was over.

    Meanwhile, during a separate hearing Monday in the same courthouse, a judge lifted an impoundment order on search warrants related to the case.

    Motions to unseal the material were filed by The Patriot Ledger and Taunton Gazette newspapers and their parent Gatehouse Media, supported by The Associated Press and The Boston Globe.

    Gregg Miliote, Sutter's spokesman, said the judge allowed for their release as of 2 p.m. Tuesday unless there is an appeal. It was not immediately clear whether Hernandez's legal team would mount a challenge. A message left for attorney James Sultan wasn't immediately returned.

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