Baez said he retained Dr. Michael Baden, a former chief medical examiner for New York City, to perform an independent autopsy.
Prison guards who managed to force their way through the door shortly after 3 a.m. found a Bible open to John 3:16 - a passage about "eternal life" - and Hernandez hanging from a bedsheet connected to the window with "John 3:16" written in ink on his forehead, a source told the Herald. Investigators say Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, blocked access to his cell from the inside by jamming cardboard into the door tracks.
Life-saving techniques were attempted on Hernandez and he was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4.07am, its statement added.
One of Hernandez' lawyers, Juan Baez, said in a statement released to USA TODAY Sports and other media outlets that the family is heartbroken and are requesting a "transparent and thorough investigation". According to Reuters, the former National Football League player's family plans to donate his brain to the CTE center at Boston University, where it will be used for research.
If the Patriots pony up, it could ultimately be the family of Odin Lloyd, the man who Hernandez murdered in 2013, that benefits most. That was first reported by The Boston Globe, citing another one of Hernandez's lawyers. "That was a positive thing in our minds", said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Hernandez in Bristol.More news: H-1B not immigration but trade, services issue
Baez earlier on Thursday accused the state of reneging on a deal to hand Hernandez's brain over along with his body.
Five days prior to his death, a jury had acquitted Hernandez in the 2012 shooting deaths of two men - Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the Lloyd murder.
His death also came just hours before his former New England Patriots teammates visited the White House Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.
Hernandez was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Patriots and signed a four-year contract extension less than a year before Lloyd's death.More news: Starbucks barista has meltdown over Unicorn Frappuccino
Aaron Hernandez's family has chose to donate his brain to medical researchers, his lawyer, Jose Baez, said at a press conference Thursday. Hernandez was also on trial for a double murder but was acquitted last week.
Police claimed Hernandez arranged Lloyd's murder with help from accomplices after Lloyd spoke with people Hernandez didn't like at a Boston bar.
Hernandez committed suicide on Wednesday morning according to the state corrections department in MA. "Keep smiling because I know Aaron and Dad are both smiling down on you (and) us right now".
Earlier in the week, cameras spied Hernandez blowing kisses to the young daughter he fathered with fiancée Shayanna Jenkins.More news: Tennessee girl safe, teacher arrested near California cabin
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