News of former NFL player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s prison suicide sent shockwave across the country, but his high-profile lawyer and agent are disputing claims that the former Patriots player killed himself.
Athletes First president Brian Murphy took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to cast doubt on the news.
He said there is “absolutely no chance (Hernandez) took his own life.”
"Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life," he said.
Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, called for an investigation into his client’s death Wednesday because, he said, there were no signs that the former New England Patriots player was suicidal.
“Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence,” Baez said in a statement. “Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Hernandez was serving a life-sentence for killing Odin Lloyd in 2013. He was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double killing in the South End that prosecutors said Hernandez committed after one of the men allegedly spilled a drink on him.
Legal analyst Peter Elikann told Fox25Boston that Hernandez’s suicide is likely to affect his previous murder conviction.
“I know that’s going to be hard for a lot of people to swallow but if you die during an appeal in Massachusetts, the appeal of a criminal case, the conviction is vacated,” Elikann said.
Hernandez was in the process of appealing the conviction, which came with a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
“Clearly it’s a very, very narrow legal technicality,” Elikann said. “It’s not like you’ve been vindicated or people now realize you weren’t guilty or anything.”
Officials said Hernandez was found hanging in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley around 3:05 a.m.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.