FALL RIVER (CBS) — A friend of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in the 2013 shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Carlos Ortiz appeared in Bristol Superior Court in Connecticut on Monday for a change of plea hearing. A judge accepted his plea and sentenced him to 4 1/2 to 7 years in prison.
Ortiz was set to go on trial in October for first-degree murder. If found guilty, he would have received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ortiz cried as Lloyd’s mother Ursula Lloyd spoke during Monday’s hearing.
“My son was the love of my life, he was my first best gift,” she said. “I forgive the ones who took my baby away from me, I forgive their hands.”
“I hope and pray one day they will be able to forgive themselves for taking the love of my life away,” she said.
Lloyd’s body was found in an industrial park in June 2013 by a jogger near Hernandez’s North Attleborough home.
Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015. Another friend of the pair, Ernest Wallace, was acquitted of murder in a jury trial but sentenced to seven years in prison for being an accessory after the murder.