Days after Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell, reports claim the former NFL's stars brain is being held "illegally" by medical examiners. Jose Baez, Hernandez's attorney, explained that the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is withholding his brain, after disagreeing over its custody.
According to NBC News, Hernandez's brain will be studied for possible brain trauma. The announcement for this motion came just after the chief medical examiner in Massachusetts ruled his death a suicide. The announcement came as a shock to some who claimed the athlete would never choose to take his own life, hinting that someone else in prison may have had something to do with his death. The examiner confirmed, however, that asphyxia by hanging did in fact occur.
The district attorney's office released a statement which said, "Now that the cause and manner of death have been determined, the brain will be released to Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalophathy Center as Mr. Hernandez's family wishes."
Baez says the family plans to donate his brain to the study of CTE, a degenerative brain disease often found in athletes who suffer from concussions and other head trauma. The disease can reportedly affect a person's memory, speech, and orientation, and even make them more susceptible to suicide. "We're leaving no stone unturned," Baez said, on the family's plan to investigate fully.
The family has also received the remainder of Hernandez's body. Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, his fiancée and the mother of his daughter, filed a motion to preserve at evidence linking to his death, which includes documents, video, and other writings.