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Hernandez fiance going to court to preserve evidence

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez wants documents, video and audio kept

David Tanklefsky
April 21, 2017 - 1:22 pm

The fiance of former Patriots tight end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez has filed a request for all evidence related to his suicide to be preserved by the state.

In the filing to be made Friday in Bristol Superior Court, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez calls for all video recordings and logs of Hernandez in his cell to be preserved along with Hernandez's writing and photos of the scene. It also asks that any phone calls made to or from Hernandez over the past month be preserved as well as the clothes he was wearing at the time of his death. The filing was submitted in the name of Jenkins Hernandez and the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Avielle.

Aaron Hernandez, 27, was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Officials say he killed himself by hanging a bedsheet around his neck. The death came less than a week after he was found not guilty in a double homicide in Boston in 2012. He was still serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of semipro football player Odin Lloyd.

At a press conference outside of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office Thursday in Boston, Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez said his team has launched an investigation into his client's death.

At that press conference, Baez claimed the medical examiner's office was holding Hernandez's brain illegally and against the wishes of his family. The family had decided to donate his brain to the chronic traumatic encephalopathy center at Boston University, he said. Hours later, the medical examiner's office said it would turn the brain over to BU.

Meanwhile, Friday afternoon Lloyd's mother, Ursula Ward, held a press conference in Boston. Ward's attorney, Doug Sheff, said he is concerned that if Hernandez's murder conviction is erased, the Patriots may end up paying his family $6 million. 

Under the abatement principle, a conviction can be removed if the defendant dies before he's had a chance to appeal. Sheff said he will make a claim on that money for Ward and has also placed an attachment on Hernandez's North Attleboro home as part of a civil suit.

Ward says it's about much more than money.

"I lost my best friend," she said of her son. "I lost my son. I lost the love of my life."

Still, she said, she has forgiveness for the man convicted of killing him.

"I do," Ward said. "And I pray to God that his soul is at peace."

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