Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is seated during closing arguments in his trial at Suffolk Superior Court, Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Boston. Hernandez is on trial for the July 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado who he encountered in a Boston nightclub. The former NFL player is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
News of former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s prison suicide sent shockwave across the country, but his high-profile lawyer and agent are disputing claims that the former Patriots player killed himself.
Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, called for an investigation into his client’s death Wednesday because, he said, there were no signs that the former New England Patriots player was suicidal.
“Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence,” Baez said in a statement. “Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Hernandez was serving a life-sentence for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013. He was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double killing in the South End that prosecutors said Hernandez committed after one of the men allegedly spilled a drink on him.
Legal analyst Peter Elikann told Fox25Boston that Hernandez’s suicide is likely to affect his previous murder conviction.
“I know that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to swallow but if you die during an appeal in Massachusetts, the appeal of a criminal case, the conviction is vacated,” Elikann said.
Hernandez was in the process of appealing the conviction, which came with a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
“Clearly it’s a very, very narrow legal technicality,” Elikann said. “It’s not like you’ve been vindicated or people now realize you weren’t guilty or anything.”
Officials said Hernandez was found hanging in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley around 3:05 a.m.