One of the two men accused of helping former NFL player Aaron Hernandez commit murder has reportedly told police that Hernandez is the one who shot and killed the victim, and that he has admitted the crime to others. Carlos Ortiz, who was arrested in Connecticut last month in connection with the crime, appears to be cooperating with police and has also offered up other details that have helped pin Hernandez to the murder of his friend, Odin Lloyd.
According to court documents filed in Florida yesterday, Ortiz told investigators that the third accomplice, Ernest Wallace, told him (Ortiz) that Hernandez admitted to shooting Lloyd. Ortiz also provided details that could establish the motive for the crime and helped point police to a vehicle that they were looking for in connection with a different drive-by shooting in 2012 that Hernandez is also being investigated for. (It's believed that Lloyd's knowledge of Hernandez's role in that crime may have led to his murder.)
These court documents were in addition to the 150+ pages of search warrants that were released in Massachusetts on Tuesday, detailing the numerous items that police have found in their investigation, as well as Hernandez's combative behavior with investigators.
While the "confession" by Hernandez is coming third-hand from someone who is obviously looking to reduce his own penalty by cooperating with authorities, it's still another troubling development for Hernandez who seems to have almost everything going against him at this point. If Ortiz is willing to testify against Hernandez in court, provide details about the night of the shooting, and help establish the motive, the case that prosecutors have amassed against the ex-New England Patriot looks stronger than ever. And that's before looking at all the other evidence that was released yesterday. It seems the only missing piece of the puzzle is the murder weapon, which has still not been found. But if it is, and the gun can be tied to Hernandez, a conviction seems almost assured. Even without it, the testimony of one of the accomplices and the mountain of circumstantial evidence still might be enough.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.