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Aaron Hernandez Case Weakens As Witness Is Now Unlikely To Testify In Murder Trial Against Ex-NFL Star

By Jordan Webb j.webb@hngn.com | Nov 22, 2013 03:24 PM EST

Aaron Hernandez
The Bristol County Sheriff's Office filed a criminal complaint against Aaron Hernandez for allegedly attacking another inmate. (Photo : Reuters)

The attorney for Carlos Ortiz, an associate of Aaron Hernandez who was charged in the murder of Odin Lloyd, said his client is unlikely to testify against the former NFL star.  Ortiz was expected to be the prosecution's star witness; with Ortiz unlikely to take the stand against his friend, the Commonwealth's case against Hernandez may have weakened.

Court documents released over the summer indicate Ortiz was, at least at one point, cooperating with law enforcement.  His cooperation led to the speculation that Ortiz would be the prosecution's star witness in the Commonwealth's case against Hernandez. 

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Ortiz's attorney, John J. Connors Jr., dismissed that notion on Wednesday after his client's court hearing was rescheduled.

"I don't believe he's going to be a witness, to tell you the truth," Connors told reporters, via the Boston Herald.  "If people are going on the assumption that because the court dates were moved around we're cooperating, or we're doing stuff because he's cooperating, that's not the case."

The hearing was rescheduled to Jan. 9 to provide Connors sufficient time to examine the Commonwealth's evidence against Ortiz, who pleaded not guilty last month to the charge of being an accessory to murder after the fact.

It's uncertain if the prosecution ever intended to call Ortiz to the stand as a witness.  Court documents, according to the Boston Globe and Hartford Courant, show Ortiz told investigators Hernandez left the vehicle with Lloyd on the night of the murder and that Hernandez later hid the firearm in a box in the basement.

If the prosecution did plan to call Ortiz to the stand his credibility would be questioned by the defense; Ortiz has already changed his story at least once about the events leading up to Lloyd's death.

Hernandez was indicted for first-degree murder and five gun-related charges as result of the investigation.  The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty to all charges and is being held without bail while awaiting trial.

UPDATE (12/19/13): 5 Latest Developments In The Aaron Hernandez Investigation.

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