New details may have come to light regarding Aaron Hernandez’s relationship with another prison inmate.
Hernandez, who formerly played as a tight end for the New England Patriots, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Odin L. Lloyd back in 2015, according to The New York Times. He was serving out a life prison sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.
On the morning of April 19, Hernandez was found to have hung himself in his cell around 3 a.m. Life-saving techniques were attempted but were unsuccessful. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead a little over an hour after he was initially found.
Following his death, it was found that Hernandez had left behind three suicide notes. Paul Jarvey — a spokesperson for the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office — told NBC News on April 24 that one was addressed to Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, and another was addressed to his child. These letters have since been released to Hernandez’s family.
When asked who the third letter belonged to, Jarvey said that “the information I have is unclear.”
On April 21, the Daily Mail reported that a source close to the investigation said that the third letter was addressed to a fellow inmate with whom the source claimed Hernandez had a romantic relationship. The Daily Mail later identified the inmate as 22-year-old Kyle Kennedy.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, addressed the rumors of a relationship between the two men in a statement to NBC News.
“Rumors of letters to a gay lover, in or out of prison, are false,” Baez said. “These are malicious leaks used to tarnish someone who is dead.”
On April 26, the Daily Mail reported that details had come to light showing that Hernandez had requested to share a cell with Kennedy.
“Aaron Hernandez had requested to the prison that my client, Kyle Kennedy be his cellmate,” said Larry Army Jr., Kennedy’s attorney and managing partner of the Boston law firm Army & Roche. “If he was going to be in with someone else why not Aaron Hernandez?”
The New York Post reports that Hernandez’s request was made back in September. The request was initially approved, but the prison’s superintendent later decided that Hernandez could not share a cell with another inmate.
“My client is obviously saddened by the loss of his friend, Aaron Hernandez,” Army said.
Hernandez’s funeral took place on April 24, reports NBC News. His lawyers are currently working to get Hernandez’s murder charges dismissed on the grounds that, in the past, Massachusetts courts have dismissed convictions of defendants who have died before their appeals were heard.
Sources: New York Post, Daily Mail (2), NBC News, The New York Times / Photo credit: Jobs For Felons Hub/Flickr