Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez reportedly had “John 3:16” scrawled in red marker across his forehead when he was found hanged in his prison cell early Wednesday morning.
The verse — arguably the most popular and well-known scripture in the Christian world — reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Hernandez, 27, was also said to have red marks on both his hands and feet and to have a Bible in his cell open to John 3:16. Authorities are investigating whether the former Patriots star took K2, a synthetic marijuana, before his death, WBZ-TV reported.
Investigators said that Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, tied a bed sheet to his cell room window and proceeded to take his own life.
But attorney Jose Baez has called for a full investigation into the death, expressing shock and saying that there were no indications prior to Hernandez’s death that he was suicidal.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” Baez told Inside Edition in a statement, calling for a “transparent” investigation. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.”
He continued, “Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
In addition to the claim that Hernandez was potentially high on synthetic marijuana, authorities are also looking into a 22-year-old fellow inmate and friend who is said to have been the last person to interact with the now-deceased former football star; that individual is now on suicide watch, the Daily Mail reported.
Hernandez’s death comes just days after his acquittal in the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado; he was set to appeal his conviction in the Lloyd case as well, as WBZ-TV noted.
He leaves behind fiancé Shayanna Jenkins as well as the couple’s 4-year-old daughter.
These shocking and bizarre events could mean that Hernandez will see his murder conviction erased, as Massachusetts courts will sometimes do so if defendants die before appeals of their cases are heard. That means Baez can likely move to try and have the record against Hernandez essentially wiped clean.
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