FALL RIVER — Hours after his friend was charged with killing two men in Boston in 2012, Ernest Wallace appeared in court to loudly declare that he is not guilty of accusations that he played a role in the 2013 shooting of Odin L. Lloyd.
Wallace appeared in Bristol Superior Court Thursday, where he was arraigned on one count of murder in the killing of Lloyd, a Dorchester man whose death former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez has already been charged with orchestrating.
Wallace pleaded not guilty. He spoke intently with one of his lawyers, Melinda Thompson, during the brief arraignment before Judge E. Susan Garsh, who ordered Wallace held without bail.
Wallace was already being held on $500,000 bail on a charge of accessory after the fact of Lloyd’s killing.
Bristol County prosecutors allege that Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz, and Wallace are responsible for the murder of Lloyd, who was allegedly picked up in Dorchester by all three men in a rented car before being shot in North Attleborough.
All three men have now been indicted on murder charges in the case, and Ortiz’s arraignment on that charge is scheduled for May 27. He has pleaded not guilty to the same accessory charge as Wallace. Officials have not said who they believe was the shooter.
Thompson said the defense team is going through grand jury minutes in Wallace’s case, and “we are trying to figure out what has changed.”
Wallace and Ortiz had been held on the accessory charges for months before they were indicted for murder in April.
No new information about Wallace’s alleged role in the death of Lloyd was released by Sutter’s office during the brief arraignment. Outside the courthouse, Sutter spokesman Gregg Miliotte would only say that “it’s been a meticulous investigation” and “the grand jury chose to indict.”
Miliote refused to discuss any potential links between the Bristol murder indictments pending against Hernandez and the two first-degree murder charges he now faces in Suffolk County for the 2012 shootings of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Another lawyer for Wallace, David Meier, said Wallace looks forward to his day in court and that “the timing of these new charges speaks for itself.” Meier said of the murder indictment against his client, “same evidence, new charges.”
Wallace is due back in court July 7 for a pretrial conference.
Members of Lloyd’s family, including his mother, Ursula Ward, attended the arraignment. Ward, who wore a pin with a picture of Lloyd on it, kept her gaze fixed on Wallace during much of the hearing.
Lloyd’s family left court with a police escort after Wallace’s arraignment and did not answer questions from reporters.