When disgraced former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell on April 19 after his suicide, authorities also found his final words to the people closest to him in the form of three handwritten letters.
Authorities have released a copy of one of those documents, which is addressed to Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.
In his note to Jenkins, Hernandez strikes an alternately affectionate and religious tone.
“You have always been my soul-mate and I want you to live life and know I’m always with you,” he begins, referring to her as “Shay.”
“I told you what was coming indirectly!” he writes. “I love you so much and know you are an angel — eternally! We split into two to come change the world!”
“Your characteristics is that of a true angel and the definition of God’s love!” the note continues. “Tell my story fully but never think anything besides how much I love you.”
“This was the Supremes, the Almighty’s plan, not mine!” Hernandez writes. “I love you. Let [redacted] know how much I love her. Look after [redacted] and [redacted] for me — those are my boys.”
Almost as an aside, Hernandez puts the words “you’re rich” in parenthesis, underlining them both, before ending the note with a song title: “I Knew I Loved You” by Savage Garden.
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Hernandez, 27, hanged himself in his cell just five days after he was acquitted of double murder charges in the deaths of two men outside a Boston nightclub in 2012. The jury found him not guilty of homicide but convicted him of one count of possessing an unlicensed weapon.
Despite that acquittal, Hernandez was still serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, his fiancée’s sister’s boyfriend.
He was not eligible for parole. He had planned to appeal that conviction.
Now that Hernandez is dead, legal experts say his murder conviction could be voided — a move that prosecutors are fighting — which would pave the way for his estate to collect nearly $6 million in unpaid salary and bonuses from the New England Patriots, who released him following his arrest in 2013.
Baez, Hernandez’s attorney, was unavailable for comment. But, speaking to WBZ, he described the letter’s release as an intentionally hurtful move by prosecutors.
“It’s clearly amateur hour,” Baez said. (The district attorney’s office could not immediately be reached by PEOPLE.)
He continued, “Instead of protecting victims, they are punishing and torturing the Hernandez family who need to grieve.”