Aaron Hernandez

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe by way of Getty Photographs

Aaron Hernandez‘s suicide final April meant the disgraced former soccer star’s brief life was over, however it didn’t mark the top of his story.

To the households who misplaced family members, his dying—which got here two years after he was sentenced to life in jail for a 2013 homicide and 5 days after he was acquitted in a 2012 double murder—did not change the truth that their lives have been perpetually altered. 

And to his household, it meant there was not any probability, regardless of how slight within the first place, that Hernandez would stroll free, or get any type of assist. His conviction was underneath attraction when he died.

Over the objections of prosecutors, the state of Massachusetts vacated his homicide conviction weeks later, the legally mandated end result in instances when the defendant dies earlier than the appeals course of has been exhausted.

Whereas the trajectory of Hernandez’s life tells the story of a deeply troubled younger man who was athletically gifted however susceptible to habit and violence and was unable to say no to the darker aspect of life, even after signing a $forty million NFL contract, some who knew him—together with his fiancée, with whom he had a daughter—proceed to insist that it was Hernandez’s personal bodily struggling that led to his ethical and psychological decline.

Shayanna Jenkins, who he’d been courting since 2007, did not initially consider that Hernandez had dedicated suicide, which the medical expert concluded he had executed by hanging himself from a bedsheet tied to the window in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Middle in Shirley, Mass.

He had written “John three:sixteen”—”For God so beloved the world that he gave his one and solely Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish however have everlasting life”—in ink on his brow, and scrawled it on the wall in blood. Cardboard had been jammed into the door tracks, seemingly to stop anybody from simply getting into the cell. There have been three handwritten notes subsequent to his Bible, together with one to “Shay,” one other for his daughter and a 3rd that was reportedly for his lawyer.

“Aaron was religious, however he wasn’t the sort of man to rise up each Sunday and go to church. Not saying that issues might have modified being there, you don’t have anything however time to assume,” Jenkins stated on Dr. Phil final Might. He had by no means talked about that Bible passage earlier than to her, she stated.

Aaron Hernandez, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez

Josh Reynolds /The Boston Globe by way of AP, Pool

Earlier than she obtained the information that he was lifeless, Jenkins-Hernandez informed Phil McGraw, “I felt like we have been wanting so vibrant. We have been going up a ladder to a constructive course.” She had spoken to him on the telephone about seven hours earlier than a guard discovered him lifeless, shortly after three a.m. on April 19, 2017, and she or he stated she was satisfied she wasn’t getting the complete story from authorities. 

Lawyer Jose Baez, who efficiently defended Hernandez within the double murder case, instantly referred to as for an investigation into his shopper’s demise, saying the 27-yr-previous had given no indication of being suicidal.

“Look, any time anyone kills themselves in a jail, one thing clearly went fallacious,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker advised reporters on the time, saying he had full confidence within the integrity of any investigation. An in depth report (minus the content material of the suicide notes, which was redacted) was launched in Might when the police concluded their inquiry.

“Aaron was a totally totally different determine and individual than what has been portrayed,” Jose Baez tells E! Information in a brand new interview. “I can inform you Aaron was much more clever, much more delicate, much more caring than anybody has ever portrayed him to be earlier than.”

What Baez means is that Hernandez wasn’t just a few reckless thug who threw his life away, nor was he the monster that he might simply come throughout as to anybody who solely sees him via the lens of the crime he dedicated.

There isn’t any disputing that the younger man did not have excessive factors in his life—profitable a nationwide championship with the College of Florida, signing a $forty million contract with the New England Patriots, turning into a father to daughter Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez, who was born on her dad’s twenty third birthday.

“It is simply going to make me consider life in a different way, and doing issues the correct means, as a result of I do know one other one’s wanting as much as me,” Hernandez informed reporters two days after turning into a dad. “I can not simply be younger and reckless Aaron anymore. I’ll attempt to do the fitting issues, develop into a superb father, and be raised like I used to be raised.”

Declarations corresponding to these are a part of the rationale why some insist he was not solely liable for his violent downfall.

However the right way to reconcile that man with the one who murdered Odin Lloyd, a soccer participant who had been courting Shayanna’s sister Shaneah Jenkins, in chilly blood on the morning of June 17, 2013?

Aaron Hernandez

George Rizer for The Boston Globe by way of Getty Photographs

Why this man who appeared to have all of it made the choices that he did could also be an unanswerable query, however Oxygen units out to color a fuller image of Hernandez’s life—or double life, that’s—and dying within the two-half docu-particular Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, airing tonight and tomorrow.

“There are such a lot of what-ifs,” Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez says within the particular. “You simply by no means actually know what demons he might’ve been dealing with.”

For many of his life, Aaron Hernandez was not a man who gave up. Regardless of what number of occasions he seemingly tried to torch his future, he’d handle to place out the hearth.

He was traumatized by the sudden dying of his personal father when he was solely sixteen, a loss that virtually derailed him proper then and there. 

“It was a tough course of, and I did not know what to do for him,” his mom, Terri Hernandez, recalled to USA At present in 2009. “He would insurgent. It was very, very arduous, and he was very, very indignant. He wasn’t the identical child, the best way he spoke to me. The shock of dropping his dad, there was a lot anger.”

However Florida was about to play for the BCS Championship, and all appeared on the up and up. 

“Simply now all the things’s getting higher, and it took him three years,” Terri stated. “I assumed I misplaced him for good. He wasn’t the identical child. Now he is again, the identical enjoyable-loving Aaron.”

Although he was a prized asset on the sector, Hernandez nonetheless received into his share of hassle, moving into fights, smoking weed and in any other case appearing like a child who was going nowhere. 

Aaron Hernandez, Patriots

AP Photograph/Greg Trott

Figuring out that his skilled inventory was plummeting, Hernandez wrote a letter that he despatched to each NFL staff apologizing for the drug and behavioral offenses that dinged his in any other case spectacular soccer resume, promising he would not allow them to down in the event that they gave him an opportunity. 

The Patriots gave him an opportunity, snagging him within the fourth spherical of the 2010 NFL draft and contemplating themselves fortunate to get such a gifted man so late. Hernandez even went greater than Tom Brady had—decide 199 in spherical six—10 years prior.

However although soccer each stored him above water and ultimately put him on prime of the world, it additionally helped result in his undoing, in line with those that insist there’s extra to the story than the extra tabloid-pleasant “wealthy-NFL-star-gone-mistaken” plot.

Aaron Hernandez

Jared Wickerham/Getty Photographs

“Aaron was a particular younger man and sadly he suffered from a really critical mind illness, and in consequence I feel was considerably misunderstood,” Baez stated.

When Hernandez’s physique was launched to his household, who buried him on April 24 in his hometown of Bristol, Conn., his mind was preserved for analysis. In September, docs at Boston College’s CTE Middle introduced that Hernandez’s mind confirmed textbook indicators of continual traumatic encephalopathy.

On the identical day the findings have been revealed, his property sued the NFL and the Patriots, alleging that they “hid and misrepresented the dangers of repeated traumatic head impacts” and Hernandez paid the worth. They “have been absolutely conscious of the injury that might be inflicted from repetitive impression accidents and did not disclose, deal with or shield him from the risks of such injury,” the lawsuit alleged.

Baez, who first filed the lawsuit in federal courtroom, advised reporters on the time that he regretted not mentioning CTE in his protection of Hernandez that spring.

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered probes the analysis of CTE, the mind injury linked to circumstances starting from temper swings to dementia that has been present in quite a few former skilled soccer gamers and different athletes who suffered repeat head accidents. 

Baez, who was not concerned in Hernandez’s first homicide trial, tells E! Information that he believes the defendant didn’t get a good trial and was wrongfully convicted in Odin Lloyd’s homicide.

He says that the prosecutor went ahead with out actually with the ability to say who among the many three males on the scene that night time truly pulled the set off. Accomplices Ernest Wallace  and Carlos Ortiz have been each initially charged with homicide however finally Wallace was convicted of, and Ortiz pleaded responsible to, accent to homicide after the very fact.

The potential for Hernandez having CTE (it is primarily recognized postmortem) was by no means introduced up and that too might’ve modified the course of issues, Baez says.

The Hernandez property’s lawsuit was briefly dropped after which re-filed in October in state courtroom, not together with the Patriots however including the NFL’s official helmet maker, Riddell, as a defendant together with the league.

In November, the 7,one hundred-sq.-foot mansion in North Attleborough, Mass., that Hernandez purchased in 2012 for $1.three million was bought to an actual property investor for $1 million.

In the meantime, wrongful dying lawsuits—for Lloyd and the 2 males Hernandez was acquitted of killing outdoors a Boston nightclub, Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado—have been filed towards Hernandez’s property. Final month, Jenkins filed go well with towards these males’s estates to attempt to make sure the proceeds from the residence sale go to their daughter.

Baez says their case towards the NFL is ongoing.

“It is one thing that we’re making an attempt to pursue for his daughter, and sadly these instances transfer extraordinarily slowly,” he tells E!. “In order time progresses we’re shifting ahead as quick as we definitely can, however as completely as we will.”

Baez, who participated within the Oxygen particular, thinks that Hernandez’s downfall and demise can finally imply greater than the sum of its unhappy, chilling elements—even when it is simply to function a cautionary story about CTE.

“If Aaron’s legacy can carry some good, it is to point out that even at a really younger age, you possibly can have this illness, and it might unfold and maybe create all types of tragedies—or be finally ending up in somebody committing suicide. I actually hope that is what individuals take away from Aaron’s legacy. That he modified issues, and hopefully modified them for the higher.”

Which will by no means be the case, in fact, for the households of Odin Lloyd, Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Their loss wasn’t mitigated by Hernandez’s dying, or no matter struggling he might have skilled in life.

“They have been good individuals who deserved to stay, and that was robbed from them and their companionship was robbed from their households,” William Kennedy, the Furtado household’s lawyer, advised the Boston Herald after Hernandez’s suicide.

That being stated, Kennedy added, Safiro’s father “additionally understands, identical to the loss [he has] had and his household has had, the Hernandez household goes by means of maybe one thing comparable, they usually take no pleasure in what occurred to him and extra notably to his household.”

Ernesto Abreu, the daddy of Daniel Abreu, advised the Boston Globe, “I am not joyful about his demise. It is truly a disgrace.”

“I do know everyone seems to be in search of me to be indignant, however I am not,” Lloyd’s mom, Ursula Ward, informed reporters final Might after Hernandez’s conviction was overturned. It was in God’s arms, she stated. And regardless of the courtroom’s ruling, “In our guide he’s responsible and he will all the time be responsible. I do know in the future I’ll see my son, and that is the victory I’ve that I’ll take with me.”

Aaron Hernandez Uncovered half one airs Saturday, March 17, at 7 p.m. on Oxygen. Half two follows Sunday, March 18, at 7 p.m.

(E! and Oxygen are each members of the NBCUniversal household.)

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