A week after the 2013 guilty verdict for murder rendered against Aaron Hernandez was overturned by a Massachusetts judge, the late New England Patriots star's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, is saying she doesn't believe Hernandez killed himself in his prison cell.
"I don't think this was a suicide," Jenkins-Hernandez said on the Dr. Phil show. She went on to say that when she received the call at 5:27 in the morning on April 19th that Hernandez had been found dead, she believed it to be a hoax.
"I thought that this was some cruel person ... playing a trick on me," she said through tears. "He said that Aaron was found in his cell and he was deceased, he was being transferred to the hospital and that's when I said immediately that I was coming; he told me to wait for the medical examiner and I wasn't taking that for an answer."
Hernandez, whose murder conviction was overturned after his appellate attorneys made a request under a long-standing legal principle in Massachusetts – which holds that when a defendant dies before their direct appeal is decided, their convictions should be vacated, was discovered hanging naked from a bed sheet in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. His death came a week after he was acquitted in a double-murder trial.
At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition in the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Lloyd was dating Jenkins-Hernandez's sister. The former football star, who signed an extension worth $40 million with the Patriots in 2012, never talked about suicide, Jenkins-Hernandez said. "He was very positive, so excited to come home ... there was no indication at all of such events."
Although she doesn't have any ideas who might be responsible for Hernandez's death, or why somebody would kill him and make it look like a suicide, Jenkins-Hernandez said that the Bible references found on Hernandez when he died don't sound like him because he wasn't religious, and that she is calling for an inquiry. She also noted that the letter he left behind didn't seem right to her.
"It was addressed to Shay, instead of, you know, babe," which she said Hernandez normally called her. "That was a little odd to me."