BRISTOL, Conn. — A Massachusetts judge has ordered a district attorney to hand over copies of three suicide notes left by ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez by the time he is buried.
An attorney for Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, made the request in court Monday morning, hours before Hernandez’s funeral in Bristol, Connecticut.
Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence in a 2013 murder, took his own life last week, just days after being acquitted in a 2012 double slaying.
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Hernandez left three notes next to a Bible.
A lawyer for Jenkins Hernandez said Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office had refused to share the contents of the notes until the investigation into Hernandez’s death is complete.
The judge said Early’s office can redact information from the notes to protect the ongoing investigation.
Hernandez’s family and friends arrived Monday to say their farewells to the former NFL player during a private funeral in his hometown.
Hernandez’s mother, brother, fiancee and at least one defense attorney were among those who turned out for the invitation-only service in Bristol, Connecticut.
Two men in suits checked IDs in the funeral home’s driveway as guests drove up. Police closed a street outside to traffic and television news crews were stationed in a lot across the street. At one point, Hernandez’s mother, Terri Hernandez, stepped out ahead of the service to smoke a cigarette on the funeral home’s front porch.
The burial will be private at an undisclosed location. Hernandez’s family in a statement asked for privacy as they mourn and thanked people for offering condolences.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.
After the Massachusetts medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, Hernandez’s brain was taken to Boston University, where scientists will study it for any signs of repeated trauma suffered during his years of playing football.
A judge on Friday ordered key evidence in the prison suicide preserved, granting a request from Hernandez’s fiancee so the family can investigate the circumstances of his death.