(NEW YORK) – Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez died in a jail cell in April 2017 while serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd.
Jose Baez, Hernandez’s lead defense attorney in the trial for which Hernandez was acquitted of two murder charges, is featured in a new, two-part docu-series titled “Aaron Hernandez Uncovered.”
The series features accounts from people close to Hernandez, uncovers medical revelations, and examines different testimonies. Baez recently talked about the new project and the unfolding of Hernandez’s trial and tragic death in a conversation with ABC News.
“It’s a tragedy all the way around,” Baez says, describing how the documentary attempts to present Hernandez in ways the public may not have seen during his trials:
“While this series uncovers many things that are for Aaron, but also things that don’t look good for him, I think it’s a little bit more open-minded than some of the things you’ve seen on TV… this gives you a more balanced approach.”
Once a star NFL tight end, Hernandez died on April 19, 2017 in his jail cell at 27-years-old, shortly after he was acquitted of murder charges. He was at the time serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. His death was ruled a suicide.
Last year, the Massachusetts Department of Correction told ABC News that there was no prior concern that Hernandez was suicidal and he would have been on mental health watch in a different part of the prison if there were.
Others around Hernandez, including Baez, expressed shock after learning of his death
Baez’s law firm called for a “transparent and thorough investigation” of his death. He continued, “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 ABC News that the docu-series also addresses the way the degenerative brain disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) may have factored into Hernandez’s death:
“One of the things that disturbed me about Aaron’s death was all of the mudslinging that came out by the people that didn’t know him… “As it relates to his CTE, that is certainly part of the documentary series… We address the issue [of CTE]… and how you put it in a legal context.”
The defense attorney concedes the docu-series does not necessarily present Hernandez in a positive light, saying it is not “an Aaron Hernandez ‘lovefest.’” Rather, Baez believes, it is a chance for viewers to see different sides of Hernandez that are not solely focused on the trials that the public saw towards the end of his life:
“I think what this series does is puts everything into context, and then gives the viewers the ability to say, ‘Well, maybe this is what happened, and perhaps it wasn’t what I originally thought.’ Aaron had a lot of people who believed in him, who understood him a lot better than many of those in the media and law enforcement, and we wanted to show people a different side of that.”
The two-part docu-series premieres on the Oxygen Network at 7pm on two nights. Part one airs on Saturday, March 17 and part two on Sunday, March 18. Baez was a consulting producer for the series.
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