Aaron Hernandez’s family won a court victory on Monday when a judge ordered the Worcester, Massachusetts, District Attorney’s office to release all three suicides notes reportedly found in Hernandez’s jail cell with his body — in time for the former NFL star’s burial on Monday.
According to the Boston Globe, George Leontire, an attorney for Hernandez’s estate representing his fiancee Shayanna Jenkins, told reporters outside Bristol Superior Court Monday afternoon that a judge had ordered the release of the suicide notes, which will be redacted to prevent disclosure of any information that could impact the investigation into Hernandez’s sudden death.
“The note(s) shall be produced in time for the family to have them for his burial, which is scheduled for this afternoon,” Superior Court Judge Thomas F. McGuire, Jr. reportedly wrote in the court order.
The former New England Patriots tight end, who was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, was found hanged to death in his jail cell early Wednesday morning.
Leontire made the announcement to reporters at approximately 12:25 p.m. on Monday, and mentioned the judge’s order that the family must receive the suicide notes in time for Hernandez’s scheduled burial Monday afternoon. His funeral services were set to begin at 1 p.m. in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut. The timing indicates that the notes will be delivered to his family during or just following the funeral services if they are to receive the notes before the burial.
It is unclear if the contents of the suicide notes are expected to impact any burial plans.
Late last week, Leontire appeared in court on Jenkins’s behalf to demand a thorough investigation into Hernandez’s death. The attorney pointed out that Hernandez had been left unattended in his cell for several hours before he was found hanged to death on Wednesday morning, and the family has reportedly demanded that surveillance video of his jail cell during those hours be thoroughly reviewed.
Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 double murder of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu on April 14. Because his earlier conviction for the murder of Odin Lloyd was pending appeal at the time of this death, that murder conviction will be vacated per an archaic and rarely applied Massachusetts bylaw that essentially erases any decisions made in an incomplete criminal case if the accused dies before the case is completed. On a technicality, Hernandez died an innocent man.
Leontire reportedly said on Monday that he did not know who the suicide notes were addressed to, although the Boston Globe reported last week that investigators said one note was addressed to Jenkins while another was addressed to Hernandez’s four-year-old daughter. Multiple news outlets have reported that a third suicide note was addressed to a man believed to be Hernandez’s prison boyfriend. On Monday, that inmate was identified by the Daily Mail as Kyle Kennedy, who is reportedly now on suicide watch himself.
Photo: Associated Press