It appears that Carlos Ortiz has flipped on Aaron Hernandez. It’s apparently unlikely that Ernest Wallace will.
Buried in a story regarding a supposed “mix-up” regarding whether Wallace will be represented by the public defender or a private lawyer is the likely reason for Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter’s frustration: If Wallace has a high-profile defense lawyer representing him, someone is paying for it.
That someone could be Hernandez.
If so, it means that Wallace most likely will decline to play ball with prosecutors, opting to help circle the wagons with Hernandez. It also likely means that prosecutors won’t have Wallace to corroborate the testimony of Ortiz, who undoubtedly will be painted as an unreliable malcontent whose story can’t be trusted.
In the end, it may not matter, given the strong circumstantial evidence already linking Hernandez to the killing of Odin Lloyd. But it would be a lot easier to prove all elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt if Wallace were willing to cooperate.
For now, Sutter is venting by complaining about the short-term waste of public defender resources.
“I’m very concerned about this,” Sutter said, via the Boston Herald. “This has happened before to other district attorneys and it’s not going to stop until the courts or the Legislature puts a stop to it. It certainly is an issue of taxpayer money, and it’s also an issue of inappropriately impeding homicide investigations.”
The Herald item leaves hanging the question of whether attorney David Meier’s bill is being footed by someone else. Technically, the question of whether Hernandez or anyone else is paying Meier to represent Wallace shouldn’t matter.
Still, if Hernandez is paying for Wallace’s lawyer, it means there’s an understanding that the two men are going to stick together in their common defense. And that’s likely the real reason why Sutter is upset.