Trial of accused Hernandez accomplice underway

In this June 26, 2015, file photo, Ernest Wallace, a co-defendant of ex-New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, attends a status conference at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. (Ted Fitzgerald/Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez could not have killed Odin Lloyd in 2013 without help from Ernest Wallace, a prosecutor said Tuesday during opening statements in Wallace’s first-degree murder trial.

Hernandez, Wallace and a third man still awaiting trial drove together to Boston to pick up Lloyd, and then took him to an industrial park in North Attleborough near Hernandez’s home, where the NFL star shot him six times, prosecutor Patrick Bomberg said in Fall River Superior Court.

“It was a cooperative effort,” Bomberg said.

Cellphone records and video surveillance implicate Wallace, he said.

But Wallace’s attorney, David Meier, said his client had no idea that Hernandez planned to kill Lloyd that night.

“Did he actively participate? Did he know what Aaron Hernandez was going to do? Absolutely not,” Meier said.

Hernandez was convicted last year of first-degree murder in Lloyd’s slaying and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Lloyd, a construction worker and semi-professional football player, was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée.

Prosecutors have described Wallace as Hernandez’s “right-hand man,” hired to run errands for the Patriots star, and say they knew each other because both were from Bristol, Connecticut.

Wallace’s trial is being overseen by Judge E. Susan Garsh, who also presided over Hernandez’s trial.

Lloyd’s mother, Ursula Lloyd, was in court Thursday.

Hernandez is also awaiting trial in the killings of two men he encountered at a Boston nightclub in 2012. He pleaded not guilty.

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