Official: Aaron Hernandez's brain will be released for CTE study after investigation

Aaron Hernandez's family announced through a family lawyer Thursday that they will donate Hernandez's brain to the study of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, otherwise known as CTE. 

Jose Baez, the aforementioned attorney, also said Thursday, "It is our position that they (the medical examiner's office) are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally," per the Boston Globe. "If we don't get answers and answers quickly, we're going straight to court."

Later, an official confirmed to the Associated Press that Hernandez's brain will be released to Boston University after the investigation into his death is completed. 

Hernandez, who starred for the New England Patriots from 2010 through 2012, committed suicide by hanging early Wednesday. Hernandez was in jail after being convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd, though he technically died an innocent man thanks to an archaic legal principle known as "abatement ab initio." Hernandez was also recently acquitted of double-murder charges in the 2012 deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. 

He was found in his prison cell with the phrase "John 3:16" written on his forehead, referring to the Bible verse that reads: 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Authorities reportedly believe Hernandez might have smoked a synthetic marijuana known as K2 shortly before he died. K2 studies have shown dozens of "bizarre" side effects, including but not limited to acting erratically. Hernandez's lawyer and his former agent have both said they don't believe Hernandez would've killed himself, and that they did not think he was suicidal.

CTE has also been shown to have side effects on those that suffer it, with several former NFL players experiencing symptoms of depression and some even committing suicide. It is not known whether or not Hernandez had CTE, because while a person can experience symptoms, CTE cannot actually be confirmed until after a person's death. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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