BOSTON (CBS) — Defense attorney Jose Baez, who represented Aaron Hernandez in his recent double murder trial, expressed shock Wednesday morning at the news that the former Patriots tight end had killed himself.
“The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death,” Baez said in a statement. “There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible.”
Hernandez was just acquitted in the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado last Friday. Baez was also set to represent Hernandez in appealing his murder conviction in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd.
“Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence,” Baez wrote. “Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Robert Proctor, a member of Hernandez’s legal team, said he was keeping an open mind about his death.
“I can only speak to the Aaron Hernandez that I knew,” Proctor said. “He was gracious, kind, generous person who treated us all with the utmost respect. We genuinely liked Aaron as a person. He was an eternal optimist. It is very hard for me to accept the fact that he may have committed suicide. We are keeping an open mind.”
Baez expressed his hopes that the investigation into his former client’s suicide is “transparent and thorough.”
Baez also said his law firm will also examine Hernandez’s suicide themselves and make the results of their investigation public.