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Aaron Hernandez's family, medical examiner's office tussle over ex-NFL player's brain

21 April 2017

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

Last week, Hernandez was found not guilty of two murders dating back to 2012. He would be convicted of the friend's murder, accused and acquitted of two other killings from 2012 and become a vivid example of out-of-control off-field behavior by National Football League players.

Hernandez was found early Wednesday morning hung in his jail cell at Souza Correctional Center in MA, where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

The apparent suicide left friends, family and his legal team shocked and in disbelief. Friday, Hernandez was acquitted in the double-murder case. "There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible", said Defense Attorney Jose Baez, who argued for Hernandez's acquittal.

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Dolphins center Mike Pouncey said on Instagram that he had spoken with his Gators teammate and friend a day earlier. "Today my heart hurts as I got the worse news I could have imagined", he said. Thank you to the President for hosting this honorary celebration and for supporting our team for as long as I can remember.

Correction Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said the agency won't comment until the investigation was completed.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Wednesday.

Hernandez apparently jammed the door to prevent officers from entering, didn't leave a suicide note and wasn't on suicide watch because he didn't appear to be at risk, according to prison officials.

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Details of the suicide still are coming to light, but both the Massachusetts State Police and the Worcester Country District Attorney's Office are launching an investigation into Hernandez's death.

Kennedy says once Hernandez's conviction in the Odin Lloyd murder is vacated, the Patriots may be contractually obligated to pay his estate bonus money that was stopped when he was arrested.

Psychotherapist Dr. Karen Ruskin said it's hard to know what was going through Hernandez's mind leading up to his death. In Massachusetts, a legal loophole called "abatement ab initio" ensures that if a person dies before he has exhausted all appeals of a conviction, the conviction will be overturned.

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