Sports

The Latest: Independent autopsy completed on Aaron Hernandez

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - The Latest on the prison suicide of ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

A physician retained by Aaron Hernandez's family says an independent autopsy has been performed on the ex-NFL star's body.

Dr. Michael Baden tells The Associated Press he completed his autopsy Thursday after Hernandez's remains were returned to the family.

The state medical examiner had already completed its own autopsy and ruled Hernandez's hanging death in prison a suicide.

Baden won't discuss his findings until outside labs finish a toxicology report and a study of Hernandez's brain. Scientists at Boston University are studying the brain for signs of repeated trauma suffered by years of playing football.

Baden said Friday the full findings will likely be turned over to Hernandez's attorney in a few weeks.

Baden is a former medical examiner for New York City. He's performed autopsies in numerous high-profile cases.

___

3:20 p.m.

A judge's order to preserve evidence relating to the prison suicide of Aaron Hernandez includes video recordings of his cell for the eight hours before the ex-NFL star was found hanged.

Bristol Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire's order also includes records of where Hernandez was during that time and all his property, including any of his writings.

It also covers recordings of his phone calls for 30 days before his death. But it doesn't include recordings of other inmates' phone calls. George Leontire, a lawyer for Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, had asked for those.

Leontire told the judge Friday that the family has been learning disturbing details about Hernandez's death from news reports and on Twitter.

The former New England Patriots tight end was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison early Wednesday. He was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder.

___

2:40 p.m.

A Massachusetts judge says he's issuing an order preserving evidence in Aaron Hernandez's prison suicide.

Bristol Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire says it's only fair that the ex-NFL star's family, the government and the public know exactly how he died.

Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, filed court papers Wednesday on behalf of his estate.

She asks that prison officials be barred from altering or destroying any potential evidence, including Hernandez's writings, video and audio recordings and medical records.

The former New England Patriots tight end was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison early Wednesday. He was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder.

___

2:10 p.m.

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee has indicated in court papers that she may sue the state of Massachusetts over his prison suicide.

Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez on Friday filed papers in Bristol Superior Court saying she was contemplating a lawsuit over the supervision he received while in prison.

The filing says authorities had a legal duty to provide safety and protection from personal injury to inmates in state custody.

The ex-NFL star hanged himself early Wednesday at the maximum-security prison where he was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder.

Questions have been raised over whether guards carried out the proper hourly cellblock checks.

Authorities say Hernandez had been locked into his cell at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, and no one entered the cell until a guard saw him just after 3 a.m.

___

12:45 p.m.

A lawyer for the mother of the man Aaron Hernandez murdered is asking the New England Patriots to voluntarily release whatever money the ex-NFL star might still be owed.

Attorney Doug Sheff tells reporters he's issued "a friendly challenge" to the Patriots. Hernandez was a star tight end for the team before he was cut in 2013, the same year he killed Odin Lloyd.

Sheff says he's asked the Patriots for $6 million. The team didn't immediately comment on his request.

Sheff is representing Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, in a wrongful-death lawsuit. He said Friday he wants to be certain that any of Hernandez's assets go to help support Ward.

It's unclear what assets Hernandez had when he hanged himself in prison this week, and how they might be distributed.

Hernandez's fiancee and the couple's 4-year-old daughter also would have legal claims to his estate.

___

12:20 p.m.

The mother of the man former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of killing says she's convinced justice was done even if the murder charge gets erased.

Courts in Massachusetts customarily vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for killing Odin Lloyd when he hanged himself in his cell earlier this week.

Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, says a jury found Hernandez guilty of killing her son and that's good enough for her.

She says Hernandez's suicide in prison has reopened old wounds and she's reliving the pain of her son's 2013 murder.

She told reporters Friday: "I lost my best friend. I lost my son. I lost the love of my life."

___

10:40 a.m.

One of Aaron Hernandez's lawyers says he'll ask a court to have the ex-NFL star's murder conviction erased now that Hernandez killed himself in prison.

John Thompson said Friday he'll file the necessary paperwork in Bristol County. That's the Massachusetts jurisdiction where Hernandez was tried and convicted in the 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd.

Thompson didn't say when he'll file the request. The district attorney will be able to challenge it.

Courts in Massachusetts and a number of other states customarily vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard.

All first-degree murder convictions in Massachusetts trigger an automatic appeal. Hernandez's appeal was still in its early stages and hadn't yet been heard when he hanged himself early Wednesday.

___

10:30 a.m.

Family members of Aaron Hernandez are asking a judge to order Massachusetts prison officials to preserve evidence so they can investigate the circumstances of his death.

A medical examiner says the former New England Patriots player hanged himself while serving a life sentence for murder.

Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, filed a complaint Wednesday on behalf of the daughter she had with Hernandez. It asks that prison officials be barred from altering or destroying any potential evidence, including Hernandez's writings, video and audio recordings and medical records.

A judge in New Bedford is due to hear the request at 2 p.m. Friday.

Hernandez was found dead in his cell Wednesday, days after being acquitted in a 2012 double homicide case. He was already serving a life term in a 2013 killing.


Most Popular