A judge is set to hear arguments Tuesday seeking the dismissal of Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction linked to the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. The hearing comes as appellate lawyers for the former New England Patriots tight end appealed to abate the 27-year-old's murder conviction after he committed suicide in his prison cell on April 19.
Hernandez's lawyers made their request under a long-standing legal principle holding, which allows a conviction to be deemed void if the defendant dies with an appeal pending. However, Bristol County prosecutors, who are trying to block the appeal, have argued that dismissing his murder conviction would reward his decision to take his own life.
The ex-NFL star, who was jailed for life without parole for the murder of Lloyd, was found hanging from his prison cell window April 19 at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. His suicide came just as he was acquitted in the 2012 double murder of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
Below are some facts and rumors that surfaced after Hernandez's suicide death last month.
1. Officials said Hernandez used a bed sheet to hang himself in his jail cell.
2. Massachusetts Department of Corrections said after Hernandez's death that he was not considered a suicide risk.
3. Corrections Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said Hernandez tried to block his cell door by jamming various items to prevent officers from entering.
4. Autopsy results showed that he died of asphyxia by hanging and his death was ruled as a suicide.
5. Massachusetts officials announced that Hernandez’s brain would be released to an academic center to determine whether he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
6. Three handwritten notes were found next to a Bible in Hernandez’s cell. The notes were written to his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, his daughter Avielle and the last to his attorney Jose Baez.
7. Massachusetts State Police wrote in an investigative report last week that Hernandez smeared his cell floor with shampoo in order to make it slippery for the prison officers.
8. New Bedford Superior Court Judge Thomas F. McGuire Jr. rejected requests of saving Hernandez's tissue and fluid samples to carry out neuropathology and toxicology analysis.
9. While correction officers found K2 during a prison search, toxicology report for Hernandez revealed no traces of “K2,” or synthetic marijuana — or any other illegal drugs — in his system.
10. Hernandez was linked to the Bloods street gang and was disciplined for having gang paraphernalia while in prison, documents related to the investigation into his prison suicide revealed.
1. According to reports, the star athlete was found with a reference to a Bible passage on his forehead. Hernandez wrote “John 3:16” on his forehead in red ink. The Chicago Tribune reported that a Bible found in his cell was opened to the page that contained the verse: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
2. Earlier, some reports claimed that Hernandez's last letter was for his gay prison lover.
3. The American football tight end wrote "Illuminati" in block letters on the wall along with an unfinished pyramid and the all-seeing eye of God, similar to the illustration on the back of the one dollar bill, according to Boston TV station WCVB.