Judge orders evidence preserved in Hernandez prison suicide
A judge on Friday ordered key evidence in the prison suicide of Aaron Hernandez preserved, granting a request from the ex-NFL star's fiancee so the family can investigate the circumstances of his death.
Bristol Superior Court Judge Thomas McGuire's ruling includes video recordings of Hernandez's cell for the eight hours before he was found hanged, records of where Hernandez was during that time and all of his property, including his writings. Authorities say he left three notes next to a Bible in his cell.
McGuire's order also covers recordings of his phone calls for 30 days before his death. But the judge declined to include recordings of other inmates' phone calls, something that George Leontire, a lawyer for Hernandez's fiancee, had requested.
The fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, had filed court papers on behalf of Hernandez's estate, asking that prison officials be barred from altering or destroying any potential evidence. She wasn't present for Friday's hearing.
The former New England Patriots tight end was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison early Wednesday. He was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who had been dating Jenkins Hernandez's sister.
Leontire was harshly critical of state authorities. Hernandez's family, he said, still doesn't know what was in the notes he left behind and was learning disturbing details about Hernandez's death from news reports and on Twitter.