Hernandez family planning private funeral in Connecticut

A physician retained by Aaron Hernandez's family says an independent autopsy has been performed on the ex-NFL star's body.

Shayanna Jenkins, the fiancee of Aaron Hernandez, was pictured with their daughter, Avielle, the day after his suicide.

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez appeared in Attleboro District Court in Attleboro, Mass. on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. It remains unclear why the 27-year-old hanged himself at the prison, where he was serving life for the 2013 murder of an acquaintance.

Nields, the manner of death was suicide and the cause was asphyxia by hanging. She says Lloyd's alleged knowledge of the romance may have played a role in his murder.

A hearing has been scheduled for Friday afternoon in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

But, she added, that she still feels a "tremendous loss".

The notation is believed to refer to the words in the Bible from John 3:16: "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".

Sheff issued a "friendly challenge" to the Patriots, who Hernandez played for, to pay those damages, saying it would make the team "champions of justice".

There is a question of how much money is left in Hernandez's estate. "We wonder that ourselves".

The Patriots have not commented on the issue.

Ward said she still forgives Hernandez and that she prays he found peace after hanging himself.

"The preservation of evidence regarding the circumstances of Aaron Hernandez's death is crucial to a full, complete, and transparent investigation", lawyer George Leontire wrote in court papers. He said Friday he wants to be certain that any of Hernandez's assets go to help support Ward.

Under an obscure MA abatement law, the family could use Hernandez's death to have his conviction in the Odin Lloyd case vacated. Because of a little-known legal rule called abatement, the murder conviction against Hernandez is expected to be dismissed because his appeal of the conviction had not been heard at the time of his death. Evidence includes the three suicide notes reportedly found in Hernandez's cell, his other writings, cell-block logs and recordings and all other physical evidence.

Other court documents seem to back this up, as Hernandez's estate was spread across three different accounts following his death: one for his fiance, one for his daughter, and a third, the largest, for that former high school classmate.

  • Julie Sanders