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Hernandez lawyer threatening legal action against med. examiner's office

Baez says office won't give brain to BU CTE study

David Tanklefsky
April 20, 2017 - 2:41 pm
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A lawyer for Aaron Hernandez is threatening legal action against the Chief Medical Examiner's Office, saying they are withholding the former Patriots player and convicted murderer's brain from being turned over to Boston University researchers.

"It is our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally," said attorney Jose Baez. "They have released the body and withheld Aaron's brain."

Hernandez, 27, was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning of an apparent suicide. 

Baez's claims were the latest in a series of dramatic events, including Hernandez's acquittal on double murder charges followed less than a week later by his stunning death at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Hernandez had been serving a life sentence for another murder case, the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.

Baez did not answer questions related to Hernandez's death, including whether or not he could confirm reports that Hernandez had the "John 3:16" written on his forehead when his body was found or whether he believed there was foul play involved in his death. He also did not offer comments on when he had last spoken to Hernandez's fiance Shyanna Jenkins Hernandez.

Speaking outside the state medical examiner's office, Baez said the Hernandez family had decided to donate his brain to the renowned center at Boston University that studies whether former athletes had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. He alleges the medical examiner's office reversed its decision to turn over the brain to B.U.

Baez encouraged reporters to go inside and ask the medical examiner's office why it was not transferring the brain. Photos posted by reporters at the scene showed a crowd of them outside the doors of the office, unable to enter.

Baez did not say that he believes Hernandez suffered from CTE or that it may have driven him to suicide.

"You don't make a conclusion without looking," Baez said. "And that's what we're doing. We're looking."

Representatives for the medical examiner's office and Boston University have not responded to requests for comment from WRKO at this time.