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Family friend of Hernandez also arrested in murder case

8:18 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
The life of Aaron Hernandez, 23, has been checkered by tragedy, triumph and controversy. Mark L. Baer, USA TODAY Sports
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BRISTOL, Conn. (USA TODAY) -- A prosecutor says the arrest of a Connecticut man is linked to the murder investigation involving former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez.

New Britain State's Attorney Brian Preleski says 27-year-old Carlos Ortiz was charged as a fugitive from justice -- arrested Wednesday in Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn. -- and has waived extradition to Massachusetts. Prison records show Ortiz is being held on $1.5 million bail at a Hartford jail.

Preleski and other officials declined to release the allegations against Ortiz, who is scheduled to return to court on July 23. Ortiz's public defender, Alfonzo Sirica, declined to comment about the case.

Ortiz, a family friend from Hernandez's hometown, last December posted a photo of Hernandez with his baby daughter and fiancée and commented, "I love u A... Always my (racial epithet) u know we here....." Ortiz also is friends with Hernandez's brother, DJ.

Thursday, Preleski issued this statement:

"Since last week, the Bristol Police Department and the New Britain State's Attorney's office have, at the request of authorities in Massachusetts, been assisting in their investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the homicide of Odin Lloyd.

"At this point, one individual, Carlos Ortiz of Bristol, has been charged in Connecticut as a Fugitive from Justice. On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, Mr. Ortiz appeared in Superior Court, G.A. No. 17, in Bristol and waived extradition to Massachusetts.

"Both the Bristol Police Department and the New Britain State's Attorney's Office will continue to provide whatever assistance we can in connection with this investigation. As the investigation is ongoing, we can have no further comment at this time. All documents related to this matter have been sealed by order of the court."

Hernandez is charged with murder in Lloyd's death. His attorney calls the case circumstantial.

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