Aaron Hernandez Cause of Death: Suicide or Murder? Lawyer, Family to Investigate Tight End's Death Inside Jail

By Teddy Cecilio, Posted: 04/20/17 11:36AM EDT

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez shocked the sporting world when he was arrested for the murder of semi-pro football player and friend Odin Lloyd in 2013. He made headlines anew when he was found dead inside his jail cell where he was serving a life sentence for the crime.

The Boston Globe reported that correction officers at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center in Shirley found Hernandez hanging in his cell around 3:05 a.m. Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said Hernandez attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items before he hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window.

However, Hernandez's lawyer and agent plan to conduct their own investigation on the former NFL tight end's death. The two insisted Hernandez had no reason or indication that he will take his own life.

"Absolutely no chance he took his own life," agent Brian Murphy said on Twitter. "Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life."

According to Hernandez' legal counsel, Jose Baez, there was no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible. He added that the former NFL star was actually looking forward to getting a second chance.

"Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence," Baez said. "Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death".

Baez also called on authorities to conduct a transparent and thorough investigation on Hernandez's death. According to Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., the Massachusetts State Police Detectives and the Department of Correction are investigating the matter.

Hernandez was appealing a life sentence in connection with Lloyd's murder. Last week, he was found not guilty of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston.

Due to his death, a law professor at Suffolk University said Hernandez's murder conviction will be dismissed posthumously because of a legal rule called "abatement". Rosanna Cavallaro told CNN that a court will vacate that conviction because Hernandez's appeal was pending. Legally speaking, Cavallaro said Hernandez died an innocent man.

A fourth-round pick by New England, Hernandez played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. He caught 175 passes for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns for the Patriots.

The Patriots have not released a statement in connection with Hernandez's death. A team spokesperson told ESPN.com that the Patriots were aware of the reports but they were not expected to release any comment soon.

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