Aaron Hernandez's Brain Will Be Donated To CTE Research

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez

Jose Baez, the Hernandez family attorney, announced on Thursday he may file a lawsuit against the state's medical examiner's office for allegedly refusing to turn over Hernandez's brain to Boston University for a study, NBC News reports. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

The 27-year-old was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell around 3am EST (8am GMT) on Wednesday (19 April).

But during his trial in Boston for the killing of two men in Boston in 2012, he appeared upbeat, constantly backslapping his lawyers, letting out bellowing laughs and blowing kisses to his 4-year-old daughter and other family members in the audience. Hernandez's appeal was still in its early stages and hadn't yet been heard when he hanged himself.

"They're being vague about what their intentions are", Baez said.

Although the notes have not yet been released publicly, a source reportedly told TMZ that all three of them were handwritten and placed next to a Bible in Hernandez's cell.

The degenerative disease is believed to be caused by repeated head trauma, and has been found in famed National Football League players including Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

He had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of a onetime friend.

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His suicide came only five days after he was acquitted on double-murder charges in a separate case, and the timing of his death and absence of a suicide note has left many perplexed.

The medical examiner's office said it wanted to complete its investigation into the death before releasing the brain. Hernandez's body was taken to a funeral home in Watertown, Massachusetts, but the owner told the Boston Globe that there were no plans to hold the funeral there.

"It is our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally", he said.

The Medical Examiner's office released a statement saying the brain was being kept because it was part of the investigation into Hernandez's death and could require further analysis.

That officer had to force his way in, the report said, because cardboard had been jammed into the door tracks "to impede entry into the cell".

The stunning suicide of Aaron Hernandez led to another surprising turn - a fight over his brain. Lee Goldstein, a CTE researcher at Boston University.

According to WBZ-TV, police are investigating whether Hernandez had smoked synthetic marijuana known as K2 the night before the suicide.