Aaron Hernandez's lawyer insinuates that client's death might not have been suicide

The man who spent the past 10 months defending Aaron Hernandez in court doesn't seem convinced that the former Patriots tight end committed suicide Wednesday morning.  

Jose Baez, the lawyer who had been representing Hernandez since June, released a statement after Hernandez's apparent suicide alleging that the former tight end's death might have been something more sinister. 

"The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death," Baez said, via the Boston Herald. "There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible. Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence."

The 48-year-old lawyer, who once represented Casey Anthony, said he wants to "find the truth" about Hernandez's death. 

"Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death," Baez said. "We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation."

As noted by Yahoo Sports, Hernandez seemed to be in good spirits during the final days of his double murder trial, which ended Friday. 

As for Baez, he also added that his firm would begin an immediate investigation into the incident. 

"The Baez Law Firm will participate in its own examination into this tragic event and update the media and public on its findings when they become available," the lawyer said. 

Hernandez's former agent, Brian Murphy, is another person who doesn't think the tight end killed himself. After hearing about his the death of his former client, Murphy wrote on Twitter that there's "No chance" that Hernandez committed suicide. 

Although Murphy didn't say it directly, the implication here is that Hernandez was killed. 

The former tight end's death came just five days after he was acquitted in that double-murder case, which revolved around the  2012 drive-by shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. In that case, Hernandez was found guilty on only one of the eight charges he was facing: illegal possession of a firearm. 

Despite the fact that Murphy and Baez are questioning how Hernandez died, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections is not. Prison spokesman Christopher M. Fallon told the Associated Press that Hernandez's death was unequivocally suicide. 

"Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window," Fallon said. "Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. "

Fallon also added that there was "no indication" that Hernandez had left a suicide note. 

Hernandez had been serving a life sentence after he was found guilty for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez had been set to appeal that conviction prior to his death on Wednesday. 

Due to his suicide, Hernandez will actually die as an innocent man in the eyes of the court. In Massachusetts, a legal principle known as "abatement ab initio" is applied at the time of death. Basically, if a person hasn't exhausted all of their legal appeals when they die, then their case reverts back to the beginning, so in the eyes of the court, it's as if Hernandez's first trial never happened. This means Hernandez's guilty verdict for killing Lloyd also never happened in the eyes of the court. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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