SHIRLEY, Mass. - Aaron Hernandez’s friends and family gathered Monday for his funeral as a judge ordered all notes that he left in connection with his suicide be released to his family.
A lawyer for a third person has come forward, claiming that one of the notes was addressed to his client.
Hernandez was found dead last week in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Corrections Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.
“Anything that happens when you have an unattended death, there continues to be factors and you continue to look into,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett.
Officials ruled last week that Hernandez died as a result of suicide in his cell, but with the investigation continuing, the letters that Hernandez left in his cell came under scrutiny.
“We didn’t want the ongoing investigation to be affected by turning the notes over,” said Bennett.
According to the Boston Globe, which obtained the sidebar discussions from court in New Bedford on Monday, the prison is on lockdown, in part because of issues related to Hernandez and things that happened to him.
But a lawyer representing Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, argued that the family has the right during the grieving process to know their loved ones’ final thoughts. That argument won in court as the family gathered for Hernandez’s funeral.
Officials reported that three letters were found in Hernandez’s cell: one for his fiancee and one for his daughter. A lawyer for 22-year-old inmate Kyle Kennedy, who is also housed at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, said Monday that the third letter was addressed to his client.
Attorney Larry Army Jr. released a statement saying that he met briefly at the prison with Kennedy and that Kennedy is sad about the loss of Hernandez, who was not a cellmate of Kennedy’s but a friend. The statement goes on:
“A letter was left to my client, but neither I, nor my client, have seen the letter. We will be requesting that the letter be turned over to my client as soon as possible.”
Kennedy’s family also issued a statement:
“Our thoughts right now are with Aaron Hernandez’s family, as well as our son. We understand the broad public interest in this case, but we ask for privacy as we learn the facts.”
The lawyer said Kennedy was briefly put on suicide watch as a matter of protocol, but isn’t on suicide watch now.
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