Dispute Over Aaron Hernandez's Brain Highlights Push for CTE Awareness

"Aaron Hernandez's death has been ruled a suicide by hanging by the medical examiner and officials say they recovered 3 handwritten suicide notes". There were no signs of a struggle and he was alone at the time.

About an hour after he was found, Hernandez was pronounced dead at UMass-Memorial Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Correction.

Prison officials said they are not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez and they had no concern that Hernandez might take his own life.

Now that the report is concluded, the brain will be released to Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center, "as Mr. Hernandez's family wishes", according to the DA's office. "The center studies a progressive degenerative brain disease found in some athletes who have experienced repetitive brain trauma", the statement said.

Hernandez, 27, was serving a sentence of life without parole for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. MA prison officials said Hernandez hanged him. He was found not guilty last week in the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

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The Massachusetts State Police and Worcester County District Attorney's Office have launched an investigation into Hernandez's death.

Lawyer Jose Baez, who represented Hernandez in a recent trial, told reporters that when someone from Boston University arrived to pick up Hernandez's brain, the chief medical examiner's office would not release it, Reutersreported.

Asked if Hernandez's fate - at the time, life in prison - was also heartbreaking, Belichick responded: "Yes". The state medical examiner's office declined to comment on the status of its autopsy or the release of Hernandez's body.

While Baez didn't outwardly reject the Department of Corrections' conclusion that Hernandez killed himself, he expressed doubt about the veracity of the state's investigation. The jury in that case found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder but convicted him of unlawful possession of a gun, and the judge sentenced him to an additional four to five years in prison - separate from his existing life sentence. Hernandez grew up in CT and played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. It was put on the market for $1.5 million in March 2016, but the price has since dropped to $1.3 million.

"I know if Aaron was here one more day he would have said he loves you", he wrote.

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