found by ex-NFL star Hernandez's body turned over to family
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[April 25, 2017]
BOSTON (Reuters) - Three
handwritten notes found by the body of former New England Patriots
star Aaron Hernandez following his suicide in a Massachusetts prison
cell last week were handed over to his family on Monday, an official
The order by a state judge in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to turn
over the notes to the former National Football League player's
family came on the same day as Hernandez's funeral, which was held
in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, a spokesman for the
Worcester County district attorney's office said.
Some of the notes "could be considered suicide notes," Daniel
Bennett, Massachusetts' secretary of public safety, told reporters.
The notes, found near a Bible, were handed over in full, the
district attorney's spokesman said. Officials have not released the
notes publicly or provided details on their contents.
Hernandez was found hanged by a bed sheet in prison last Wednesday
in what Massachusetts officials have ruled a suicide. Hernandez had
been a rising star with a $41 million NFL contract when he was
arrested in June 2013 and charged with murdering an acquaintance in
an industrial park not far from the Patriots' stadium.
He was serving a sentence of life in prison without possibility of
parole after being found guilty of that murder when he hanged
himself, according to state officials. Hernandez's death occurred
just days after his acquittal of a separate 2012 double murder.
[to top of second column]
Aaron Hernandez looks at the gallery during his murder trial in Fall
River, Massachusetts. The former New England Patriots football star
hanged himself in the jail cell where he was serving a life sentence
for murder. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
"We wish to say goodbye to Aaron in a private ceremony and thank
everyone in advance for affording us a measure of privacy during
this difficult time," the family said in a statement ahead of the
The lawyer who successfully defended the 27-year-old former athlete
in the double-murder trial has vowed to conduct his own
investigation into the circumstances of Hernandez's death at the
Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts,
west of Boston.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Leslie
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