Ernest Wallace vowed not to break his silence and urged Aaron Hernandez to do the same in July 2013, shortly after both were arrested for allegedly playing roles in the murder of Odin L. Lloyd, prosecutors said in a court filing.
Wallace, whose call from jail to one of Hernandez’s cousins was recorded, said he had a message for Hernandez.
“Tell him no matter what man, don’t think I’m la la la’ing,’’ Wallace said in an apparent reference to “singing” to law enforcement. “I’ll never go against the grain. You hear me?’
Wallace, a friend of Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star now on trial in Lloyd’s murder, was initially charged as an accessory. His charge has since been upgraded to murder.
Hernandez, Wallace, and a third man, Carlos Ortiz, allegedly murdered Lloyd on June 17, 2013 in an industrial park near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
While Hernandez’s trial is underway in Bristol Superior Court, the prosecution and defense are continuing to joust in filings over what evidence can be shown to the jury. The conversation involving Wallace was one of a number of jailhouse telephone conversations that prosecutors want to introduce. The defense is fighting to keep them out of the trial.
Wallace was speaking from jail on July 12, 2013, to Tanya Singleton, a Hernandez cousin who has since pleaded guilty to contempt of court charges tied to the case and still faces a conspiracy charge in Bristol County. Prosecutors said in court papers that Wallace referred to Hernandez in the call as “Ink.”
“You tell Ink, tell Ink I love him, man,’’ Wallace said.
“I will,’’ replied Singleton.
After Wallace assured Singleton he would never “go against the grain. You hear me?” she responded, “Yup.”
“Tell him that we gotta work together,” Wallace continued, according to the transcript. “Tell him we gotta work together.”
Later that same day, Singleton spoke to Hernandez, who was also in jail, and told him, “I’m not saying nothing,” according to another transcript attached to the court papers. “I love you so much.”
She was later jailed on contempt charges for refusing to testify before two grand juries, one in Bristol County and one in Suffolk County, investigating Hernandez. She still faces a conspiracy charge in Bristol County for allegedly helping Wallace flee after Lloyd’s death.
Singleton spoke to Wallace again on July 28, 2013, shortly before declining to testify before one of the grand juries.
“I have to be up there to be in front of the grand jury whatever ‘cause they’re [expletive] dumb, but I got a good lawyer,” she said. “That’s why I got, uh, a good lawyer from over there.”
Wallace later asked, “My [friend] got you with that?”
“You already know,” Singleton said.
“Alright,” Wallace replied. “Say no more.”
Prosecutors wrote in the filing that the calls showed Hernandez “was indeed successful in obtaining the silence ... of Tanya Singleton and the continuing loyalty of Ernest Wallace.”
According to the transcripts, Hernandez also told another cousin, Gina Mercado, to let him know when Singleton was running low on funds in jail.
“Keep letting me know, write me letters, like, when she runs out or something or something like that, so I could get her canteen [fund] and stuff like that,” Hernandez said.