Aaron Hernandez's lawyer: 'Final days were happy days'

Aaron Hernandez. (AP)
Aaron Hernandez. (AP)

The lead defense attorney for the late Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who died in prison while serving a life sentence for murder, is now casting doubt on official and conventional narratives about Hernandez’s life, crimes and suicide.

“I thought and I felt, and I still do to this day, that the real story has to get out there,” said attorney Jose Baez, per Fox News. “No one has ever captured the true Aaron Hernandez.” As a result, Baez said he is participating in a new documentary, “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered,” that takes another look at the life of the NFL player-turned-convicted murderer.

Hernandez was convicted of the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, but was acquitted of the 2012 murders of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Shortly after that acquittal, Hernandez was found in his cell hanging from a bedsheet.

Baez had difficulty with the sequence of events leading up to Hernandez’s death. “Aaron’s final days were happy days,” Baez said. “He was excited by the fact that he got acquitted. He was looking forward to the future. The best way I could describe it is through his own words. He said, ‘I feel like a kid again.’ He was so excited and happy.”

Baez contends that Hernandez suffered from CTE, which in turn contributed to his downfall: “When you have that type of a brain disease, it doesn’t control logic,” he said. “That’s what people have a hard time understanding. If the brain is destroyed, and it was, then that’s what makes us go. Our thoughts, our decisions … our whole existence flows from that.”

Boston University researchers revealed in September that Hernandez suffered from stage 3 CTE, the most advanced case they had seen in someone so young. Hernandez was 27 at the time of death, and Baez indicated at the time that his family would be suing the NFL and the Patriots.

Baez continues to fight for his client’s reputation, despite the conviction in the Lloyd case. “Aaron was not a killer,” Baez said. “While he was a very flawed human being, he had many good qualities to him. And I think his legacy and the storyline have to deal with Aaron should be looked at a little bit differently.”

“Aaron Hernandez Uncovered” airs on Oxygen on Saturday and Sunday.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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