A Massachusetts judge ordered on Friday that all evidence in the jail suicide of Aaron Hernandez be preserved, granting a request from the former New England Patriots star’s fiancee that Hernandez’s family be allowed to investigate the circumstances of his death.

Judge Orders Evidence in Aaron Hernandez Suicide Case be preserved

Bristol Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire stated, in granting Jenkins Hernandez’s request, he believes it’s only fair that Hernandez’s family, as well as government and the public, know exactly what led to his death.

The 27-year-old former NFL tight end was discovered hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison early Wednesday. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who had been dating Jenkins Hernandez’s sister.

“The preservation of evidence regarding the circumstances of Aaron Hernandez’s death is crucial to a full, complete and transparent investigation,” family lawyer George Leontire said.


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Hernandez was also on trial for two murders he committed in Texas in 2012, and was acquitted of that double homicide on April 14. One of the ex-Patriots star’s lawyers, John Thompson, stated he would request that a court erase that murder conviction. Courts in Massachusetts and several other states typically vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard. All first-degree murder convictions in Massachusetts prompt an automatic appeal.

The former football player left three notes near a Bible in his cell, according to authorities, although Hernandez’s family say they don’t know what was contained in the notes.

Llyod’s mother, Ursual Ward, told reporters in Boston that she still forgives Hernandez and hopes he found peace after hanging himself in jail. Ward’s attorney, Doug Sheff, revealed he has asked the Patriots and the NFL Players’ Association to voluntarily release any money Hernandez may still be owed so a court can decide who receives it.

Nevertheless, Ward added that she misses her son dearly.

“I lost my son, the love of my life,” Ward said. “I’ll never ever see him again.”

Ward has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit that seeks unspecified damages from Hernandez’s estate.

The judge’s order comes one day after Cardell Hayes was sentenced to 25 years for the murder of another former NFL player, retired New Orleans Saints star Will Smith. 

NORTH ATTLEBORO, MA – AUGUST 22: Aaron Hernandez is escorted into the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court for his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been indicted on a first-degree murder charge for the death of Odin Lloyd. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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