Associate: Hernandez put guns in basement
Published: Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 8:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 8:53 p.m.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. — New court records say that an associate of Aaron Hernandez told police the former New England Patriot put guns in a box in his basement after returning from the industrial park where his friend was fatally shot.
An affidavit released by Attleboro District Court says Carlos Ortiz told investigators Hernandez put firearms in the black box after Odin Lloyd’s killing. The document indicates one was a small gun Ortiz handed Hernandez after they returned home with another associate, Ernest Wallace. Ortiz said he earlier saw Hernandez with an additional “large handgun.”
Hernandez, a former Florida tight end, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of Lloyd, a 27-year-old Boston semi-professional football player whose body was found June 17 about a mile from Hernandez’s North Attleborough, Mass., home. His attorneys have said the case against him is circumstantial and they are confident he will be exonerated.
Authorities believe Lloyd was killed with a .45-caliber Glock, which hasn’t been recovered. Prosecutors say video surveillance from Hernandez’s home before and after the killing shows him holding a gun that appears to be a Glock.
Police divers have been searching this week in a lake in Bristol, Conn., Hernandez’s hometown. Authorities have declined to comment on the search, but have confirmed it is linked to the investigation.
Prosecutors have not said who fired the fatal shots. But court records released in Florida say Ortiz told investigators Wallace said it was Hernandez.
The new documents released in Massachusetts indicate authorities seized a cellphone and credit and bank cards from a relative of Hernandez, identified as Tanya Singleton-Valderamma, of Bristol. Ortiz told investigators he and Wallace drove to Bristol after Lloyd’s killing and that he was dropped off at Singleton-Valderamma’s house, according to the affidavit. Ortiz said he discussed Lloyd’s killing with her.
The records say that Singleton-Valderamma later purchased with a credit card, under a previous name, a Greyhound ticket from Macon, Ga., to Miami, and that Wallace traveled on a bus between those two points. He later turned himself in in Miramar, where his parents live, and is being held in Massachusetts on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact.
The affidavit says it is not known how Wallace traveled from Connecticut to Georgia.
Ortiz is facing a gun charge in connection with the case. Both Ortiz and Wallace have pleaded not guilty.
Hernandez is being held without bail and is next due in court on Aug. 22 for a probable cause hearing.