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Friend of ex-NFL player Hernandez indicted as accessory to murder

BOSTON (Reuters) - A friend of former National Football League player Aaron Hernandez, who is charged with murdering the semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, has been indicted on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact, local prosecutors said.

The friend, Carlos Ortiz, was indicted by a grand jury on the single count, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said via Twitter on Friday.

Hernandez was a star tight end of the New England Patriots when he was arrested on June 26. Shortly after that he was cut by the team, for the alleged execution-style murder of Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

Prosecutors charge that Hernandez called Lloyd to his home on the night of June 17 and drove him, along with Ortiz and a third friend, Ernest Wallace, to the industrial area where they say Hernandez shot Lloyd dead.

A spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Gregg Miliote, said Ortiz now claims Hernandez was the only person who got out of the vehicle with Lloyd on the night of the murder, reversing previous testimony that Wallace had also left the vehicle.

Lawyers for Ortiz and Hernandez did not respond to requests for comment.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and related firearms charges.

Lloyd, 27, had been dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. Prosecutors said Hernandez soured on him a few nights before the body was found, and that the two had argued after Lloyd socialized at a nightclub with people Hernandez disliked.

Wallace has also been charged with murder after the fact, Sutter said.

(Reporting by Scott Malone and Richard Valdmanis; editing by Kevin Gray and Matthew Lewis)

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