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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Aaron Hernandez associate Ernest Wallace acquitted of murder but found guilty of being accessory

05.13.16 at 8:13 am ET

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Hockey: IIHF World Championships, United States vs. Hungary, 9:30 a.m. (NBCSN)


— Ernest Wallace, one of Aaron Hernandez’s associates who was with the former Patriots tight end the night Hernandez shot and killed Odin Lloyd, was acquitted of first-degree murder but found guilty of being an accessory after the fact.

Wallace was sentenced to serve 4 1/2 to seven years in state prison. He has been in custody since turning himself into authorities in June 2013, shortly after Lloyd’s death, and will receive credit for the nearly three years he already has been in custody.

The Bristol Superior Court jury’s decision Thursday came after a 10-week trial and about eight hours of deliberations over two days.

“I very much respect the jury’s verdict,” District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn said in a statement. “They apparently felt there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Wallace and Mr. Hernandez were acting in concert to kill Odin Lloyd. I am happy the jury found the defendant guilty of accessory after the fact to murder, and was involved in the attempt to cover up the crime. I am pleased he will serve a state prison sentence.”

Wallace’s attorney, David E. Meier, also sounded pleased with the result.

“The jury’s verdict on the first-degree murder charge speaks for itself, as does the speed with which the jury returned that verdict,” Meier told The Boston Globe. “In the end, the truth won out. Mr. Wallace looks forward to rejoining his family in Florida as soon as possible and moving on with his life.”

Another man, Carlos Ortiz, faces similar charges and is due to be tried in October. Prosecutors say all three men played meaningful roles in Lloyd’s death after picking him up from his Dorchester apartment.

Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder last year and is serving a life sentence, which he is appealing. He also faces a double-murder charge for the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in July 2012.

— Russia’s chances of competing in track and field in the upcoming Rio Olympics took a blow Thursday when the World Anti-Doping Agency criticized the country’s oversight of its program.

WADA released statistics indicating that testing by independent authorities in Russia decreased by more than two-thirds in the past year, despite reports of widespread violations by athletes.

On the same day, The New York Times published a story detailing how at the Sochi Games in 2014 Russia switched out urine samples and committed other acts to hide doping in its athletes, including 15 who won medals.

WADA also was critical of Kenya’s attempts to clean up its program, calling a new anti-doping law passed in the country “a complete mess.”

The governing body for track and field, the IAAF will make the final call on Russia and Kenya’s eligibility for the Rio Games. A meeting is scheduled for June 17 to determine Russia’s status.

— Scott Skiles resigned as coach of the Magic after just one season, surprising the team with his decision.

Smiles, a former Magic point guard, guided Orlando to a 35-47 record, a 10-win improvement over the previous season, but said in a statement that he realized he is “not the right head coach for this team.”

The 52-year-old was under contract through the 2017-18 season with a team option for 2018-19.

“This is certainly a challenging day for us, an unexpected day,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “I think that when Scott and I first met a year ago we had some great dialogue. We talked about basketball philosophy, basketball character and the things we look for in players. Quite honestly that dialogue continued throughout the course of the season. So with the news we received from Scott [Wednesday], we were very surprised by it, took as aback a little bit.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On May 13, 1991, which two former Celtics — teammates in Boston in the late 1970s — were inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “My rookie year [in 2010], it was just an honor to be in the game, just using yourself as a player, throwing yourself the ball every single time you can at home, just playing the game. Now it’s a dream come true, going into my seventh season and being on the cover [of Madden 17]. When I first found out, I was blessed. It was a surreal moment. It’s been a great day.” — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, on earning the cover of Madden 17

STAT OF THE DAY: 18 — Consecutive games with a hit for Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., following his two-hit performance in Thursday’s 11-1 rout the Astros, tied for the longest streak in the majors this season

‘NET RESULTS: Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert reaches over the railing next to the dugout and makes a nice catch of a foul ball against the Yankees.

A cat disrupts the Cardinals-Angels game when it races across the field and then through the stands.

Angels star Mike Trout takes out the first base umpire after reaching on an infield single.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Dave Cowens and Nate “Tiny” Archibald

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Stevie Wonder was born on this day in 1950.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, Ernest Wallace, Scott Skiles,