FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A cousin of ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez wants a conspiracy charge dismissed because her attorney says prosecutors didn’t tell a Massachusetts grand jury that a key witness failed a lie detector test, new court documents show.
Tanya Singleton’s lawyer, E. Peter Parker, said in a Wednesday filing in Fall River Superior Court that prosecutors impaired the integrity of the grand jury that indicted her by withholding evidence that “undermined greatly” the credibility of Carlos Ortiz. Parker also said the grand jury didn’t hear sufficient evidence to support the indictment.
Ortiz has been charged, along with Hernandez, in the June 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial area not far from the ex-Patriot’s North Attleborough home. Both have pleaded not guilty to murder.
Singleton, of Bristol, Connecticut, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to criminal contempt for failing to testify before the grand jury but a judge spared her prison time because she’s being treated for advanced cancer.
The new documents include parts of a transcript of a polygraph test Ortiz took last year. Ortiz at first said he was sleeping in the car when Lloyd was killed, according to the transcript. After the examiner told him he was lying, based on the test results, Ortiz maintained he didn’t see the shooting but had seen Hernandez and Lloyd get out of the car. He said they “took a little walk. I didn’t hear no arguing. Nothing.”
Ortiz said he and co-defendant Ernest Wallace stayed in the car, according to the transcript. “I was about opening the door and that’s when I heard the gunshot,” he said. Ortiz said he saw Hernandez run back to the car and that Lloyd didn’t return.
A police case report summarizing the test says Ortiz “states that from the darkness he could not see Aaron Hernandez shoot ‘O,’ but immediately after the shots he saw Aaron Hernandez running with a black gun from the area of where the shots were fired and ‘O’ did not come back.”
Ortiz doesn’t refer to a gun in the portion of the transcript released publicly.
The report also indicates that Ortiz twice denied shooting Lloyd and that the examiner scored his answers as “Deception Indicated.”
Ortiz’s reliability as a witness has been questioned before. Prosecutors previously revealed he had changed his story about who got out of the car, at first saying Hernandez and Wallace both exited with Lloyd. Wallace has also pleaded not guilty to murder.
A spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Samuel Sutter didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the new filing.
Hernandez’s murder trial is scheduled to begin in January. He has pleaded not guilty in a separate case with killing two men in Boston in 2012 after one accidentally spilled a drink on him at a nightclub.