FALL RIVER — Prosecutors have no evidence that a cousin of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez destroyed or discarded a cellphone belonging to one of Hernandez’s alleged accomplices in a June killing, the cousin’s lawyer said Thursday.
“The Commonwealth has no evidence that [Tanya] Singleton made that happen,” her attorney, E. Peter Parker, said in a pretrial hearing here in Bristol Superior Court.
Singleton, 38, faces a conspiracy count and a contempt charge, which was brought after she refused to testify before a grand jury hearing evidence in the case. She has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $15,000 bail.
The cellphone in question belonged to Ernest Wallace, 41, who is charged as an accessory after the murder of Odin L. Lloyd, 27, of Dorchester.
Hernandez, 24, is charged with murder and weapons violations in the fatal shooting of Lloyd, whose body was found near the athlete’s North Attleborough mansion on June 17. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
In describing the alleged link to the phone, prosecutor William McCauley told Judge E. Susan Garsh during Thursday’s hearing that the bills for Wallace’s cellphone were sent to Singleton’s address in Bristol, Conn. And, he said, Wallace and Singleton traveled to Georgia shortly after the killing, and the phone has not been recovered.
Ortiz and Wallace have pleaded not guilty to accessory charges and are each being held on $500,000 bail.
Singleton wore a brown jail uniform during Thursday’s hearing and sat with her hands folded. She said “thank you” in a soft voice to a court officer who unlocked her handcuffs.
Singleton won a partial victory when Garsh ruled that she can live outside Bristol County, but must remain in Massachusetts, if she posts bail. Singleton was initially required to live in the county if she posted. She did not post bail Thursday.
Parker said in court that Singleton, who relies on government benefits and is being treated for breast cancer, may be able to live in Franklin. Parker would not say where in that town Singleton might reside.
Hernandez was renting an apartment in Franklin at the time of the killing, and police searched the residence soon afterward.
Parker, who had requested that Singleton be allowed to return to Connecticut if she posted bail, said that if she must live in Massachusetts, she would have to “rely on the charity and largesse of somebody else.”
Asked after the hearing who that person is, Parker said, “Anyone who steps forward.”
Parker said Singleton has a state health plan in Connecticut and would have difficulty obtaining a similar policy in Massachusetts as a temporary resident.
In addition, he argued that Singleton is not a flight risk. But McCauley said she has a “proven track record” of not complying with court orders.