It was already surprising when Aaron Hernandez seemingly chose to end his life right after being acquitted last week of a 2012 double murder. But now one of Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers has hinted that there may be more to the former football star’s suicide than meets the eye.
On April 19, 2017, Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, was discovered by corrections officers hanging in his cell by a bed sheet attached to a window at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. He had the Bible verse “3:16” written on his forehead in red and an open Bible nearby, when he was found. There is also reason to believe Hernandez may have smoked K2 before ending his life.
According to TMZ, lawyer Jose Baez has “launched an investigation” into what happened. Baez believes that “this could be a murder either by inmates or the folks who run the prison.” Prison officials have stated that Hernandez did not seem to exhibit any depression or reason to believe he’d take his own life.
Meanwhile, another legal twist has emerged: According to Massachusetts case law, Aaron Hernandez’s suicide may have just prevented his murder victim’s family from recovering any civil damages, effectively releasing his substantial estate to his four-year-old daughter.
“Aaron Hernandez will go to his death an innocent man” in the eyes of the law, Martin Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association, told the Boston Globe. At the time of his demise, Hernandez was still appealing the murder conviction that put him behind bars, and now that appeal can never be resolved. Since the appeal effectively erases his original guilty verdict, the situation is the same as if he’d never been found guilty at all.