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Patriots press release through the law firm that handled Deflategate:

Bedsheet attacks and kills Aaron Hernandez.
 

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"Hernandez took the Ossoff loss worse than Alyssa Milano."

"Say what you want about Aaron Hernandez, but he killed Aaron Hernandez"
 

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In death, Hernandez's murder conviction likely to be tossed

BOSTON (AP) -- In death, Aaron Hernandez may not be a guilty man in the eyes of the law.

Under a long-standing Massachusetts legal principle, courts customarily vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard.

Hernandez, a former NFL star, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's finance.

Massachusetts prison officials said Hernandez was found hanging in his prison cell early Wednesday. His death came less than a week after his acquittal on murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.

Hernandez's attorneys can move to have the conviction in the Lloyd case erased, said Martin Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association.

"For all intent and practical purposes, Aaron Hernandez will die an innocent man, but the court of public opinion may think differently," said Healy.

The legal principle is called "abatement ab initio," or "from the beginning." It holds that is unfair to the defendant or to his or her survivors if a conviction is allowed to stand before they had a chance to clear their names on appeal, in case some kind or error or other injustice was determined to have occurred at trial, Healy said.

"It's a surprising result for the public to understand," he added.

All first-degree murder convictions in Massachusetts trigger an automatic appeal. Hernandez's appeal had not yet been heard by the state's high court.

Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for the district attorney's office which prosecuted the Lloyd case, would not comment on the possibility of the conviction being vacated.

Removing a conviction after the death of a high-profile defendant is not without precedent in recent state history.

The child molestation conviction of former Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that rocked the Boston archdiocese, was vacated after he was beaten to death in 2003 in his cell at the same Massachusetts maximum-security prison.

John Salvi, who was convicted of killing two abortion clinic workers and wounding five other people during a shooting rampage in Brookline in 1994, also had his convictions tossed after he killed himself in prison.
 

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EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Hernandez left behind a handwritten suicide note for his gay jailhouse LOVER - who is now on suicide watch - and two more for his fiancée and four-year-old daughter


Investigators found three handwritten notes in Aaron Hernandez's cell next to a Bible that was open to John 3:16
One of the notes was to fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, who was seen leaving her mother's Connecticut home Thursday
The second note was to his four-year-old daughter Avielle
And sources close to the investigation tell DailyMail.com that the third letter was written to the former football star's gay prison lover
That unidentified man is currently under 'eyeball to eyeball' suicide watch
Shayanna and Aaron grew up in the same neighborhood and had known each other since elementary school
They became engaged in October 2012, while she was pregnant, and she took his last name following his murder conviction three years later
DailyMail.com has learned from a well-placed source that Hernandez was planning his suicide for weeks and gave away personal belongings to inmates
He covered the floor of his cell in soap so that he if he lost his nerve he wouldn't be able to save himself


The three handwritten notes discovered in the cell where Aaron Hernandez hanged himself were written to his fiancée, his daughter and his gay jailhouse lover.

Two of the notes were written to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez and the couple's four-year-old daughter Avielle. Both were seen leaving her mother's Connecticut home Thursday.

Sources close to the investigation tell DailyMail.com that the third letter was written to Hernandez's gay prison lover, who has not been identified but was believed to be the last person Hernandez spoke to before he took his own life.

Now that man is currently under 'eyeball to eyeball' suicide watch.

The notes were discovered next to a Bible opened to John 3:16, the same verse that Hernandez had written across his forehead in marker.

That verse 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.'

This comes as DailyMail.com learned exclusively on Thursday that Hernandez was planning his suicide for weeks.

The former football star even gave away most of his personal belongings to fellow inmates and covered the floor of his cell in soap, according to a well-paced source. If he lost his nerve he wouldn't be able to save himself as he would slip around and not be able to land firmly on his feet.

'Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields performed an autopsy on Mr. Hernandez on Wednesday and concluded today that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging,' stated Massachusetts District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. in a statement on Thursday.

'An investigation into the death by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and Department of Correction investigators found cardboard jammed into the door tracks of his single-inmate cell to impede entry into the cell.'

The report went on to state: 'There were no signs of a struggle, and investigators determined that Mr. Hernandez was alone at the time of the hanging.

'Mr. Hernandez was locked in his cell about 8 p.m. and no one entered the cell until a correction officer observed him at 3:03 a.m. and forced his way through the impeded door to render aid.'

Hernandez's death came less than a week after he was acquitted of the murders of two Boston men in 2012. He was already serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's finance.

Hernandez's shock suicide also came on the same day that his former teammates were honored at the White House for their recent Super Bowl win.

Hours after Hernandez's death, quarterback Tom Brady said he would not be attending the Patriots celebration.
DailyMail.com has learned from a source that Hernandez was planning his suicide for weeks
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DailyMail.com has learned from a source that Hernandez was planning his suicide for weeks

Christopher Fallon, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, sent out a message after Hernandez's death on Wednesday.

'On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital,' said Fallon.

'Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window.

'Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.'

A spokesperson for the Patriots said that the team would not be commenting on Hernandez's death at this time, stating: 'We are aware of the reports, but I don't anticipate that we will be commenting today.'

Reports suggest that Hernandez had a violent record in prison, including many fights with other inmates, but he has never attempted suicide.

Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez is claiming that he and the family believe that the former football star was murdered, and did not commit suicide.

'There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,' said Baez.

'Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.'

As DailyMail.com reported exclusively, the family wants to donate his brain to the team leading research into how football injuries affect behavior.

But the Boston Medical Examiner’s office is holding on to the brain — despite releasing the rest of the convicted murderer’s body to his family following an autopsy.

Efforts to donate the brain to the Boston University team looking into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are being stymied, the Hernandez family’s lawyer Jose Baez told reporters after the Mail’s exclusive report.

Baez believes Hernandez may have been suffering from CTE caused by head injuries received during his football days.

‘We made arrangements for the Boston University CTE unit to take possession of Aaron’s brain,’ Baez said in a hastily convened press conference on the sidewalk outside the medical examiner’s office.

‘It was completely agreed upon,’ he added, saying a team from the university was due to remove the brain at 10 am on Thursday.

It was later reported that Hernandez's brain would be released to Boston University per his family wishes.
 
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