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Friday, April 11, 2014 - 9:25pm
CNN — Two friends of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez were indicted on murder charges Friday in connection with the 2013 homicide of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
The associates, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, allegedly were in the car with Hernandez the night of the murder.
Hernandez, 24, is being held on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the shooting death of Lloyd. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Authorities have said Hernandez, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace picked Lloyd up from his Boston apartment in the early morning of June 17. Surveillance cameras showed the car at an industrial park near Hernandez's North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home.
Surveillance cameras then captured the rental car leaving the crime scene and Hernandez carrying a gun as he returned to his home minutes later. He was with two other people. Lloyd -- a 27-year-old semi-pro football player himself -- was not among them.
Lloyd's body was found in the industrial park later that day.
Prosecutors have accused Hernandez of orchestrating the death of Lloyd, who was shot five times with a .45 caliber handgun.
Ortiz and Wallace were already being held on charges related to the Lloyd murder when the indictments were handed down Friday.
"Ernest Wallace did not shoot or kill anybody," his attorney, David Meier of Boston, told CNN.
"The nature and timing of these new charges against Mr. Wallace speak for themselves. One can only ask are these charges based on the facts and the law or something else. Mr. Wallace looks forward to confronting his accusers in the courtroom," Meier said.
Ortiz, 27, of Bristol, Connecticut, had been indicted in September on a single count of accessory to murder after the fact in connection with Lloyd's death.
Ortiz's attorney, John Connors, told CNN that he heard about the indictment not from the district attorney, but from the news media.
"I was a bit shocked," Connors said. "I knew the matter had come up before a second grand jury ... but, to my knowledge, there's been no new discovery ... no new information."
"First, they charged him with being an accessory ... and now, all of a sudden they indict him for murder," Conners added. Maybe, it's political." Asked to elaborate, he said, "Maybe you should ask the DA."
Wallace, who also was indicted last fall on an accessory-after-the-fact-to-murder charge, had turned himself in to police in Miramar, Florida, at his family's home more than a week later after taking a bus to Florida from Georgia.
In addition, Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, 24, was charged in September with a single count of perjury and his cousin, Tanya Singleton, 37, was charged with "conspiracy to commit accessory after the fact."
Singleton, who was already being held on a previous indictment for contempt of court by allegedly refusing to testify before a grand jury, saw both of the cases against her combined.
CNN's Susan Candiotti and Rande Iaboni contributed to this report.