During the climactic scene in A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson chides Tom Cruise for a meandering cross examination by saying of Cruise’s clients facing murder charges, “Please tell me their lawyer hasn’t pinned their hopes to a phone bill.”
A similar comment could be made about prosecutors in Massachusetts, if their star witness in the murder trial against Aaron Hernandez will be Carlos Ortiz.
Ortiz, as explained by Kevin Manahan of USA Today, has plenty of warts. In the affidavit supporting Ortiz’s arrest for a probation violation, police claim Ortiz admitted on May 21 “that he was abusing PCP, alcohol, and THC daily.” (That could explain his apparent post-murder narcolepsy.) Ortiz also had tested positive for alcohol, cocaine, PCP, and THC.
Ortiz, per the affidavit, thereafter avoided treatment by claiming he’d lost his cell phone and telling his probation officer on June 18, the day after Odin Lloyd was killed, that Ortiz “didn’t know where to go.”
So, basically, if Ortiz is put on the witness stand, he’s going to be ripped apart by Hernandez’s lawyers.
The problem with that approach is that Hernandez chose to associate with Ortiz, apparently summoning Ortiz and Ernest Wallace from Connecticut on the day before the murder. So if Ortiz has warts, Hernandez chose to embrace him, warts and all — including alcohol and cocaine and PCP and THC.