The Massachusetts State Police have issued an investigative report about the April 19 suicide of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, verifying – and contradicting – information that has been widely reported for several weeks.
Among other details, the report states that police found that Hernandez had written the Bible verse John 3:16 in ink on his forehead and in blood on his prison cell.
The passage is perhaps the most fundamental Bible verse of the Christian faith, and says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Additionally, a toxicology report showed no trace of drugs in Hernandez’s system, contradicting a report that the football star had used synthetic marijuana in the hours before he died.
With the state investigation completed, Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, issued a blistering statement that condemned the way authorities handled their investigation – and vowed an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death.
“Now that the state authorities have completed and closed their investigation into the death of Aaron, we owe it Aaron and his family to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into this tragic death,” the statement begins.
The statement then takes aim at the authorities involved in the investigation. “The total lack of professionalism exhibited by government officials and their employees during this entire process is unprecedented,” the statement says. “The majority of information contained in these reports was leaked to the press during the course of the investigation. The family … learned through the numerous press reports, citing unnamed government sources or those close to the investigation, of the details of Aaron’s death. The family members were victims in this matter and deserved better treatment by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
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“We intend to fully, completely and impartially review all of the evidence in this matter,” the statement continues. “The best investigators and forensic experts available will conduct a thorough analysis.”
Baez then issues a warning to Massachusetts authorities. “Any official who attempts to interfere or inhibit our investigation by refusing to allow access to the evidence surrounding this matter will not be tolerated,” he writes. “We will use any and all of the legal tools at our disposal to expose and prevent any such interference.”
The statement concludes with a sentiment of gratitude. “Finally,” it reads, “on behalf of the family, we wish to thank the many kind individuals who have sent their condolences.”
Hernandez died at the Souza-Baranowski maximum-security prison in Massachusetts, where he was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder. His suicide came just five days after he was acquitted in a 2012 double slaying.
Before his convictions, Hernandez played three seasons for the Patriots, from 2010 to 2012. But when he was arrested on charges of murder and gun possession in 2013, he was cut from the team. He was convicted of the 2013 murder in 2015 and sentenced to life without parole.
It’s unclear when the defense team will conclude their investigation or if they will make the results public.