Lawyer Says ME 'Illegally' Holding Aaron Hernandez's Brain

Aaron Hernandez

The 27-year-old Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a semipro football player dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée, was discovered hanged in his MA prison cell early Wednesday.

He was pronounced dead about an hour later at UMass-Memorial Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Correction.

After he was convicted of first-degree murder, Hernandez was moved to a single-inmate cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison in Shirley, about an hour's drive from Boston.

Hernandez attempted to barricade his cell door with various items.

Baez has said that he doubts the official story of Hernandez death, and will be conducting his own investigation.

July 16, 2012: Two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, are shot to death in their auto as they wait at a red light in Boston's South End neighborhood.

Researchers with Boston University's CTE unit had arranged to take custody of the brain from the medical examiner's office at 10 a.m., Baez said.

The medical examiner's office has not responded to a request for comment.

The medical examiner released Hernandez's body Thursday, but Baez says the office has not yet given them back the brain, as promised.

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CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to football players who have suffered repeated blows to the head.

Hernandez's death occurred the same day the Patriots visit the White House to mark their remarkable win in February's Super Bowl.

Baez, who successfully defended Hernandez in his most recent trial, on Thursday said the medical examiner's office had turned over Hernandez' remains to his family but retained his brain.

Hernandez's body was released to the Faggas Funeral Home in Watertown, Massachusetts, after an autopsy.

According to a report by the Daily Mail on April 19, Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of Furtado and de Abreu's deaths and his own death could mean that his conviction for reportedly killing Lloyd will be vacated.

Many other questions remain unanswered, including what's to become of Hernandez's estate and why he would kill himself just days after the he was cleared of two murder charges.Hernandez had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of a onetime friend. He issued a statement saying that Hernandez's family and legal team were "shocked and surprised" at the news of his death.

'There were no conversations or correspondence that would have alarmed the legal team or family, ' the Florida-based attorney added.

One of Aaron Hernandez's lawyers says the ex-NFL star spoke with his fiancee hours before his apparent suicide in prison. "I think he was murdered", said Keith Birchall of Woonsocket.

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