Hernandez was upbeat, spiritual before
death: court papers
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[May 06, 2017]
BOSTON (Reuters) - Former New
England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez had been upbeat and
appeared increasingly spiritual to his fellow prison inmates in the days
before he hanged himself in his cell, according to court documents
released on Friday.
The documents, which include the first published excerpt of one of the
notes that Hernandez left behind in his cell, are based on interviews
with fellow inmates at the Massachusetts prison where he had been
serving a life sentence for murdering an acquaintance.
Hernandez's suicide last month stunned his loved ones, according to
family attorneys, because it came just days after he been found not
guilty of a 2012 double murder.
The documents include a Department of Corrections Report that noted that
one inmate said conversations with the 27-year-old former athlete had
become increasingly religious in tone in the days leading up to his
"This inmate stated that Hernandez came to his door before lock in and
stated, 'remember when you die your soul gets reincarnated,'" the report
said. It quoted another person, who claimed to be one of Hernandez's
best friends, who said Hernandez had discussed hopes of returning to
Hernandez's body was found with the words "John 3:16" written on his
forehead in ink and on the wall of his cell in blood, according to a
state police report released on Thursday. The words were an apparent
references to the Bible verse that begins "For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son."
The court papers also included an excerpt of one of three handwritten
notes found in Hernandez's cell along with his body. Addressed to
"Shay," his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, it reads in part, "tell
my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you."
[to top of second column]
Aaron Hernandez listens as the guilty verdict is read during his
murder trial at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River,
Massachusetts, April 15, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter
The attorneys who successfully defended Hernandez in the
double-murder trial released a statement late Thursday criticizing
state officials for having leaked some details of the report to
local media ahead of its release.
"We intend to fully, completely and impartially review all of the
evidence in this matter," Hernandez's attorneys said in the
statement. "We will not speculate as to the conclusions of our
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Mary Milliken)
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