Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was implicated by an alleged accomplice as the man who shot and killed a semi-pro football player in Massachusetts last month, according to bombshell court documents obtained today by ABC News.
Carlos Ortiz, who prosecutors say was with Hernandez when Odin Lloyd was killed, told cops he was informed by the second alleged accomplice that "Mr. Hernandez admitted to shooting Mr. Lloyd."
The statement is included in an eight-page affidavit filed in Fort Lauderdale today. The document was submitted in Florida because the second alleged accomplice, Ernest Wallace, 41, was arrested near Fort Lauderdale, in Miramar, after Hernandez was charged with murder. Lloyd, 27, was killed June 17 at an industrial area near Hernandez's million-dollar home in North Attleboro, Mass.
Accusations that Hernandez pulled the trigger marked a major development in the case of the disgraced all-pro who was released from the Patriots as soon as he was arrested last month. Until today, the authorities had refused repeatedly to say who among the three men – Hernandez, Ortiz and Wallace – they believe actually fired the five rounds that killed Lloyd in what's been termed an execution-style slaying.
According to a separate volume of court records released today in Massachusetts, Ortiz's words were also key in flagging investigators to Hernandez's "flop house" in Franklin, Mass. It was there that investigators said they recovered ammunition similar to the .45-caliber bullets used to kill Lloyd.
Hernandez, 23, stands accused of murdering Lloyd two days after Hernandez reportedly took issue with people Lloyd was talking to at a Boston nightspot called Rumor.
In the Florida court documents, Ortiz is said to have told police that Hernandez made reference to that dispute as the four men drove toward what would be the scene of Lloyd's murder.
"He overheard Mr. Hernandez state directly to Mr. Lloyd that he [Mr. Lloyd] was 'chilling' with people that he [Mr. Hernandez] had problems with," the filing says. "Mr. Ortiz explained that Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Lloyd made up by 'shaking hands' and added that 'it' was squashed."
Prosecutors have refused to say anything more about a motive in the case.
ABC News has reported that investigators believe Lloyd's murder may have stemmed from information he might have had on a 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston. Investigators are probing any connection Hernandez may have had to that episode in the South End, which left two men dead and another wounded.
That incident came after an argument at a Boston nightclub and witnesses described an SUV that fled the scene. And, because of Ortiz's statements to investigators, detectives say they were able to locate the vehicle sought in the earlier shooting.
Until today, much of the Hernandez case had been shrouded in secrecy after prosecutors filed reams of records in Massachusetts under seal. The documents were only pried open after news organizations sued for access. The district attorney's office handling the case and lawyers for Hernandez both objected to unsealing the records, but neither appealed a ruling that did just that handed down Monday.
According to the Massachusetts documents, Aaron Hernandez's own words -- comments he made to investigators -- are being used against him.
Investigators told the court that Hernandez admitted he had seen Lloyd in the hours before the crime occurred, saying he had been "up his way yesterday" in referring to Lloyd's home.
Hernandez, in talking to investigators, grew "argumentative" with police, asking, "What's with all the questions?"
Soon after those words were uttered, Hernandez clammed up, refusing to answer questions without a lawyer and instructing his girlfriend to do the same, according to the series of affidavits filed in Attleboro.
The records show police seized two of Hernandez's mobile phones, three iPads and went through his home, his car and his locker at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots play.
Investigators told the court they found dirt that appeared to come from the crime scene in the treads of the tires on the rented car Hernandez was driving that night and tire tracks that appear to match those at the crime scene. They said they discovered potentially incriminating text messages that link Hernandez with Lloyd before the dead man's body was found.
Detectives also said that, on the same evening Lloyd and Hernandez allegedly had their problem at Rumor, witnesses at the club saw Hernandez carrying a handgun in his waistband.
In the documents, investigators say Hernandez's girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, told them Lloyd "smoked marijuana and that he also was a marijuana dealer. Ms. Jenkins stated that she would often observe Mr. Lloyd on his phone talking about marijuana sales."
Detectives didn't explain the significance of that, but it could confirm initial reports that illegal drug sales could have some sort of connection to the crime.
Hernandez is being held without bail as is Ortiz.
Wallace was arraigned Monday and is also being held without bail.