New details on the tragic suicide of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez show he was found naked with the Bible verse John 3:16 scrawled on his forehead with ink and written in blood on the wall of his cell on April 19.
An investigative report on the NFL star's death released by the state police Thursday and cited by The Associated Press confirms previous reports that Hernandez was focused on one of the most quoted verses in the Bible in his final moments at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility in Massachusetts.
The report said Hernandez was found in his cell about 3 a.m. after corrections officers noticed he had stuck cardboard into the tracks of his cell door to prevent it from opening. A report from CNN noted that prior to the April 19 episode, Hernandez had been disciplined for tampering with the door and covering its entrance twice before. Hernandez also sprayed shampoo on the floor of his cell to make it slippery.
When officers eventually got the door open, they found Hernandez naked hanging from a bed sheet that was tied around the bars of his cell window. Medical staff and officers administered CPR but they could not revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
In addition to the "John 3:16" written on his forehead, Hernandez also had a large circular blood mark on each of his feet, AP said. There were also a number of drawings on the wall of his cell along with "John 3:16." An open Bible was under the drawings with the John 3:16 verse also marked in blood.
The report explained that Hernandez's right middle finger had a fresh cut and blood was also found on the adjacent finger. The report also confirmed previous reports that three handwritten notes were found next to the Bible.
While the contents of the notes were redacted, the Daily Mail reported last month that Hernandez left the notes for his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, their 4-year-old daughter Avielle and his gay jailhouse lover, Kyle Kennedy, 22.
Kennedy's lawyer, Larry Army Jr., managing partner of the Boston firm Army & Roche, told the Daily Mail in another report that prison authorities had denied a request by Hernandez to share a cell with his client.
"Aaron Hernandez had requested to the prison that my client, Kyle Kennedy, be his cellmate," Army said.
Kennedy, who was serving time for armed robbery, was open to the idea. "If he was going to be in with someone else why not Aaron Hernandez," said Army.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. His sex life was investigated as motive for the murder. It was reported that Lloyd had called Hernandez a "schmoocher" which he and his friends took as a gay slur. Hernandez's longtime gay lover and high school friend was reportedly forced to testify before a grand jury about their relationship.
State police indicated in their review, however, that Hernandez made several calls before he was locked in his cell prior to his death last month and none of those calls reflected any inclination toward suicide.
"Hernandez does not make any apparent indication of an intent to harm himself during any of the phone calls," the report said.
The state medical examiner's office ruled Hernandez's a suicide by asphyxia and said his blood test was clean.
Jose Baez, who was Hernandez's lead attorney in a recent double murder trial where the former sports star was acquitted, said he planned on doing an independent investigation and slammed officials for leaking information to reporters.
"The unprofessional behavior of those entrusted to impartially and professionally conduct an investigation into Aaron's death has caused grave concern as to the validity and thoroughness of the investigation," Hernandez's attorney said.