A court hearing has been delayed until Jan. 9 for one of two alleged accomplices of Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star accused of murder. The ruling came after defense attorneys said they needed time to review a new trove of evidence provided by prosecutors.
Carlos Ortiz, 27, of Bristol, Conn., was due in court today, but his attorney, John J. Connors, successfully argued for the hearing to be delayed.
Prosecutors have alleged that Hernandez orchestrated the June 17 slaying of Odin Lloyd of Boston and have charged the former New England Patriots tight end with first-degree murder. Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory after the fact. A third man, Ernest Wallace, of Miramar, Fla., also faces an accessory charge.
Connors said he asked for the delay in Ortiz’s case because prosecutors had recently provided him with more than 200 DVDs and CDs containing evidence that he has yet to review.
“I had filed a number of discovery motions, including a motion to preserve evidence,” Connors said. “The prosecutors agreed to the motion to preserve evidence and they provided me with a ton of discovery evidence. It’s a substantial amount of information that now I need to go through.”
Ortiz is being held on $500,000 cash bail. Wallace and Hernandez, both in custody, are both due back in court next month, with Dec. 9 and Dec. 13 court dates, respectively.
Connors said it is unclear when Ortiz would see a trial, noting that the pacing of the case will largely be determined by the prosecution. He added, however, that he would not expect major progress in the case against Ortiz until after the Hernandez murder trial has begun.
“Realistically, they probably won’t move forward until after [the Hernandez trial],” Connors said.Wesley Lowery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.