Ernest Wallace was acquitted of a first degree murder charge.
Matt Stone/The Boston Herald/AP
Ernest Wallace was acquitted of a first degree murder charge.
CNN —  

Ernest Wallace, a friend of Aaron Hernandez, has been convicted on charges of accessory to murder after the fact in the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd.

A jury in Massachusetts deliberated for eight hours before acquitting Wallace of murder but finding him guilty on the lesser charge.

Wallace, 41, was sentenced to a 4½ to 7 year prison term, according to a release from Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.

“I very much respect the jury’s verdict. They apparently felt that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that Wallace and Hernandez were acting in concert to kill Odin Lloyd,” Quinn said.

In April 2015, Hernandez, a former NFL star, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors in his case said Lloyd was seen June 17, 2013, around 2:30 a.m. with Hernandez and Hernandez’s long-time friends, Carlos Ortiz and Wallace, in a rented silver Nissan Altima. Later that day, a jogger found Lloyd’s body riddled with gunshots.

Prosecutors expect Ortiz to stand trial in October. Ortiz, like Wallace, has pleaded not guilty.

“The jury’s verdict on the first degree murder (charge) speaks for itself,” said David Meier, Wallace’s attorney. “Mr. Wallace is extremely grateful to each of the jurors for their perseverance and attention to the evidence. In the end, the truth won out. Mr. Wallace looks forward to rejoining his family in Florida as soon as possible. At the end of the day, he was very much in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Wallace, who has been in jail since June 2013, will get credit for time served, CNN affiliate WHDH reported.

CNN’s John Newsome contributed to this report.