Aaron Hernandez’s lawyer doesn’t believe the former New England Patriots tight end took his own life and has vowed to launch an investigation.
Jose Baez believes fellow inmates or prison staff murdered Hernandez and the athlete’s “devastated” family doesn’t believe he wanted to kill himself, TMZ reported. Baez released a statement hours after authorities announced Hernandez died of an apparent suicide Wednesday, April 20 saying the family and his client’s representatives were “shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death,” according to USA Today.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” Baez’s statement said. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.”
Hernandez was acquitted Friday of the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. He had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, which CBS Boston reported would be appealed with Baez’s counsel.
An investigation is ongoing at the Shirley, Mass., Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center where Hernandez was discovered hanged from bed sheets. Spokesman Christopher Fallon told the Associated Press there was no reason to believe Hernandez was suicidal and he would have been transferred to a mental health unit if he were.
When Hernandez’s body was discovered, guards reportedly found “John 3:16” written on his forehead and on the in red marker. Sources told Fox 25 a Bible was flipped open to the verse, which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Investigators also believe Hernandez possibly smoked synthetic marijuana Tuesday night before his death, according to CBS Boston.
“I just think it got to him — the guilt,” Mixson Philip, a family friend of LLoyd’s told the AP. “Each man has to live with himself. You can put on an act like nothing happened, but you’ve got a soul. You’ve got a heart.”
Hernandez’s former agent, Brian Murphy voiced suspicion about the circumstances of the star footballer’s death.
Absolutely no chance he took his own life. Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.
— Brian Murphy (@A1Murph) April 19, 2017
Others also questioned Hernandez’s alleged suicide.
One day, got off a double murder charge.
Next day, found dead.
100% guarantee that Aaron Hernandez did not commit suicide.
— Taj Taylor (@hegodsent) April 19, 2017
#AaronHernandez was murdered on suicide watch. FIRE THE STAFF!
FED. INVEST. NEEDED ASAP! @RookwoodAmbrose @scoobysnahx @330Kingish #coverup pic.twitter.com/k3LF4ZB0rS
— DeShaunneLoveHoliday (@Deshaunnea) April 20, 2017
Of course I don't believe #AaronHernandez committed suicide. The man was killed 🤷🏾♀️.
— pooh. (@BirdCat21) April 20, 2017
NOTHING abt that mans demeanor said he'd kill himself, ESPECIALLY after he just beat the case & was goin try to get an appeal… FOH
— Spike Lo Ren 🗡 (@SpikeReeds) April 19, 2017