Aaron Hernandez associate pleads guilty for role in Odin Lloyd murder

Carlos Ortiz, an associate of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, stands during a hearing in Superior Court Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in Fall River, Mass. His attorney said that Ortiz was just "along for the ride" with Hernandez on the night Odin Lloyd was killed. He said Ortiz, who has pleaded not guilty to accessory after the fact, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and didn't participate in the shooting. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murder in Lloyd's June 2013 death. (AP Photo/The Herald News of Fall River, Dave Souza, Pool)
Dave Souza/The Herald News of Fall River via AP/file 2014
Carlos Ortiz.

An associate of Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star convicted of murder, pleaded guilty Monday to being an accessory after the fact to the 2013 North Attleborough murder of Odin L. Lloyd of Boston by Hernandez.

Carlos A. Ortiz had been facing a charge of first-degree murder, along with an accessory charge. He entered his plea in Bristol Superior Court. He was sentenced to 4 1/2 to 7 years in prison.

Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of shooting Lloyd, a Dorchester man who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s long-time girlfriend. Hernandez, Ortiz, and a third man, Ernest Wallace, picked Lloyd up in Dorchester and drove to a North Attleborough industrial park, where Lloyd was shot to death.

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Hernandez, Wallace, and Ortiz were all charged with murder. Wallace, 44, was acquitted of murder this May, but was convicted of being an accessory after the killing and sentenced to serve up to seven years in state prison.

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Ortiz is seen in surveillance video from Hernandez’s former North Attleborough home, which was near the murder scene, with what appears to be a gun in his hand after the shooting of Lloyd.

Ortiz was initially charged with manslaughter and was believed to be cooperating with authorities. He was later indicted on the more serious murder charges.

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A motive for the slaying was never clearly articulated during Hernandez’s trial, but officials have told the Globe they believe he might have feared Lloyd knew too much about his alleged involvement in the fatal drive-by shootings in July 2012 of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and weapons charges in that double slaying. The case is pending in Suffolk Superior Court.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.