Where does the case against Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz stand? While the prosecution did a great job proving that Aaron Hernandez orchestrated a murder, the charges against Ortiz and Wallace seem to be based on the fact that they were present with Hernandez at the time. Mere presence at a crime scene is insufficient to establish a conviction without evidence that they assisted and shared Hernandez’s intent.
The case against Hernandez showed that Hernandez, demanded Ortiz and Lloyd come up from Connecticut to go out with him. Throughout the 139 witness trial, there was little mention of the role of Ortiz and Lloyd. The only mention was the inference that Lloyd must have been pushed from the car by either Wallace or Ortiz and that both had a history of drug use and used PCP.
There does not appear to be a strong case against either for murder. Wallace’s DNA was not even tested indicating a lack of investigation as to his involvement. There was no testimony as to any relationship between Wallace, Ortiz and Lloyd. Had there been an adverse relationship, it would have been likely exploited by the defense as a possible motive.
Clearly, the prosecution wanted its conviction of Hernandez and got it this week.
Two other men are facing 1st degree murder charges when eight weeks of trial did not reveal what shared intent they had to assist Hernandez to carry out the murder. From the start, the Commonwealth had its theory that Hernandez was the shooter. MyFoxBoston has the timely of the case on its website.
At best, it appeared they have evidence that they assisted in getting Lloyd out of the car. But with only circumstantial evidence as to when the 1st shot was fired, it will be difficult to prove that either Lloyd or Wallace knew Hernandez’s intent and assisted with it. Based on the trial, the evidence seems clear that the prosecution presented these two men as obeying Hernandez’s every command.
At the trial of either Wallace or Ortiz, we could learn Hernandez’s exact role as either could testify in their own defense. Both could also present evidence that they feared Hernandez and felt as though they had to go along as a result of his past behavior and the fact that he had a gun in his possession. While there could be other evidence that was inadmissible against Hernandez that would be used to prosecute Ortiz and Wallace, it is likely any evidence pointing to them would have been used by the Hernandez defense team.
Based on the evidence presented, it seems unlikely the Commonwealth could get a murder conviction against either co-defendant. The Government will likely want to resolve these cases and the family of Lloyd may not wish to go through another trial. To read more about this case you can see my Blog post on the trial. My final Blog on this trial will be geared toward what lawyers can learn from the trial and where to find great examples throughout the testimony. Look for that next week.