Aaron Hernandez: What we know on day of his death

Lynette Rowe
April 21, 2017

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction could be thrown out because he was still in the process of an appeal at the time of his apparent suicide, legal experts in MA said.

Hernandez attorney Jose Baez said the family had arranged for Boston University researchers looking at brain trauma in athletes to take possession of Hernandez's brain following the autopsy.

"Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window", the state corrections commission said in a statement. "It is literally a destruction of evidence".

A legal rule called "abatement ab initio", which means "from the beginning" in Latin, could make Hernandez an innocent man, Martin W. Healy, chief legal counsel to the Massachusetts Bar Association told The Boston Globe.

"We often see the response", said Ruskin.

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Removing a conviction after the death of a high profile defendant has happened before in recent history.

It's generally best for researchers to get access to a brain within hours of death to determine the presence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or other neurodegenerative diseases, said Dr. Hernandez was not on suicide watch, authorities said. Fallon said officials had no reason to believe Hernandez might take his life, and if they had had any such worries, he would have been transferred to a mental health unit. As a result, Hernandez could be legally cleared.

If the Patriots pony up, it could ultimately be the family of Odin Lloyd, the man who Hernandez murdered in 2013, that benefits most.

Left behind: Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez and their daughter (both pictured last Wednesday), 4, may inherit some of his money. FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, file photo, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez puts on a Super Bowl cap following the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mas. In addition, there was no suicide note, but according to a local news station, Hernandez had the words "John 3:16" written on his forehead, a reference to the Bible verse that reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".

The 5,800-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom house that he bought not far from Gillette Stadium for $1.3 million in November 2012 is still up for sale. Lloyd's family has a pending civil suit against Hernandez seeking damages for his killing.

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