A man who allegedly was with former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez and Odin Lloyd when Lloyd was murdered is being held by police in Connecticut.
Carlos Ortiz, 27 is in custody “in connection with the case” and being held with bail set at $1.5 million at the Hartford Correctional Center, according to the Boston Globe. The records in the case have been sealed, MassLive.com reports. Ortiz was arrested by police in Bristol, Conn., which is Hernandez’s hometown.
Ortiz, the Hartford Courant reports, has waived extradition to Massachusetts and was due in Wednesday on a charge of violating probation on convictions for larceny and criminal mischief. In addition, the Bristol home of Hernandez’s uncle was searched by police Wednesday night, WFSB.com reports.
Hernandez is being held without bail after being charged Wednesday with the murder of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player. Hernandez’s attorneys intend to appeal the decision regarding bail and Hernandez entered a not-guilty plea.
Details of the case against Hernandez, which could turn on surveillance video evidence, were described by assistant district attorney Bill McCauley at arraingment Wednesday. USA Today’s Kevin Manahan, who was in the North Attleboro, Mass., courtroom, reports:
McCauley said Lloyd was killed with five bullets about 3:25 a.m. June 17 in a secluded industrial park roughly a half-mile from Hernandez’s home. Two other men, allegedly summoned by Hernandez by text message that night, also were involved in the killing, McCauley said, but their names were not released.
The district attorney’s office protected their identities by getting a judge to impound records — such as the police report and search warrants — and prosecutors did not say whether the two would be charged.
McCauley said Hernandez had the “motive, means and opportunity” to kill Lloyd, but Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, after listening to the evidence, called the case “circumstantial” and “not strong.”
McCauley did not say directly that Hernandez pulled the trigger on any of the shots, but the criminal complaint states that Hernandez “did assault and beat” Lloyd “with intent to murder such person, and by assault and beating did kill and murder such person.”
McCauley said the plot to kill Lloyd probably was hatched June 14, when Lloyd and Hernandez went to a Boston nightclub and Hernandez caught Lloyd talking to people Hernandez “had troubles with.” Two days later, McCauley said, Hernandez summoned two men from out of state, and together they went to the Dorchester section of Boston to pick up Lloyd at his home.
McCauley hinted that Lloyd might have known his fate when he got into the car with Hernandez, because Lloyd cryptically text-messaged his sister and asked, “Did you see who I left with?” When his sister asked who, Lloyd texted, “NFL.” He followed with another text that said, “Just so you know.”
That, McCauley said, was the last time anyone heard from Lloyd.
Prosecutors said investigators tracked the car’s movement to a gas station, to Lloyd’s home at 2:35 a.m. and then to the empty lot where Lloyd was shot. They said Hernandez also was incriminated by the rental car he used, and shell casings and chewed bubblegum — the same brand of gum Hernandez bought at the gas station — were found in the vehicle.
In the industrial park, surveillance videos captured the men arriving in the same silver Nissan that Lloyd had climbed into in Dorchester, McCauley said. He added that night-crew workers in the area heard gunshots between 3:23 and 3:27 a.m.
McCauley gave a blow-by-blow of the killing, saying Lloyd was shot once as he got out of the car, crumpling to the ground. As he raised his arm to protect himself, he was shot multiple times. A total of five spent .45-caliber casings were recovered at the scene and in the car, McCauley said. Tire tracks found near the body were consistent with the Nissan, he said.
A few minutes later, surveillance video at Hernandez’s home showed him walking through the house with a pistol in his hand, McCauley said.
Hernandez’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 24.