Lawyer: Hernandez talked to fiancee before death

Ross Houston
April 23, 2017

After a brief public dispute between MA authorities and Hernandez's family, the former Patriots tight end's brain was released to BU's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. No one is going to stand in the way of the family's wishes for Boston University to have Aaron Hernandez's brain.

"The preservation of evidence regarding the circumstances of Aaron Hernandez's death is crucial to a full, complete, and transparent investigation", lawyer George Leontire wrote in court papers.

Baez says Hernandez's family wants his brain tested for CTE at Boston University.

When a Boston University representative arrived to pick up the brain for testing, they were denied possession, Baez said.

Even as Hernandez's death was labeled a suicide, some of the ex-NFL player's family and friends insisted that he would never have done such a thing to himself. Baez recently represented Hernandez during a trial for the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, of which Hernandez was acquitted.

"It is our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally", Baez said.

At 3:05 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Hernandez was discovered by corrections officers dead in his single cell.

As mentioned Wednesday, the suicide rate for prisoners in MA was almost double the national average for the period of 2001 through 2012.

"We need to specifically do everything possible to find out what happened", Baez said. CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a disease often found in the brains of athletes who have sustained head traumas.

Chief medical examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields made the conclusion that "manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging", according to a news release.

Hernandez had been serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder back in 2015.

John M. Thompson, the attorney handling Hernandez's appeal in the 2013 murder case, also said Hernandez's death should be "carefully and thoroughly investigated".

Investigators found three handwritten notes next to a Bible in his cell, according to the statement, which did not detail the contents of the notes.

Baez said it's too soon to say if Hernandez might have suffered from CTE, and wouldn't answer questions about how many concussions Hernandez might have suffered during his football career.

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