Ex-Patriots player Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison cell

Prison authorities say Hernandez, who played three years for the Patriots as a tight end, hanged himself with a bedsheet in his cell at the maximum security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts early on Wednesday morning.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File).

(Photo:REUTERS/Brian Snyder) Aaron Hernandez, former player for the NFL's New England Patriots football team, attends a pre-trial hearing at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts October 9, 2013. Hernandez was serving a life sentence without parole for murder.

Hernandez's lawyer was speaking Thursday in front of the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston.

Bennett says the death investigation may require further analysis of Hernandez's body, and that's why the brain is being kept for now. "It's literally a destruction of evidence issue".

"They're being vague about what their intentions are", Baez said.

Baez had been helping Hernandez appeal his murder conviction, and as a result of his death before exhausting the legal process, that conviction will be voided.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

According to the joint statement, Hernandez was locked in his cell about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, and no one entered the cell until he was found by a correction officer at 3:03 a.m.

Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez's suicide but didn't anticipate the club commenting on it Wednesday.

The family wants a full investigation into his death, suggesting he may have been murdered.

Hernandez's body was released to the Faggas Funeral Home in Watertown following the autopsy.

Owner Nicole Faggas told the Globe there are no plans to hold services there.

Baker also warned against jumping to any conclusions: "There are a million rumors flying out there. None of them have been substantiated".

Another unknown: why Hernandez would kill himself just days after the he was cleared of two murder charges. Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

He had pleaded not guilty to killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in 2012.

Hernandez's death occurred the same day the Patriots visit the White House to mark their remarkable win in February's Super Bowl. Many were searching for an explanation to the tragic end of a young man whose football skills at one point earned him a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the NFL's top franchise. In August of 2015, Hernandez was involved in another fight at the prison, ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB reported at the time.

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.

Attorneys for Lloyd's mother have placed an attachment on the house as part of their civil suit against Hernandez.

Hernandez and his older brother, Jonathan Hernandez, would exchange mail regularly while he was in prison, Sports Illustrated reported previous year.

"Here's the one thing you have to understand", he said.

Latest News