Private Funeral for Aaron Hernandez Held, Family to Get Suicide Notes

Aaron Hernandez’s family and friends bid farewell to the former NFL star at a private funeral Monday, and a judge ordered that three suicide notes he left be turned over to his fiancée by the time he is buried.

Dozens of mourners turned out for the invitation-only service in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, including his mother and fiancée, several of his defense attorneys, and friends from his playing days with the University of Florida and the New England Patriots.

At the request of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, a Massachusetts judge ruled that the district attorney must provide the family with copies of three notes Hernandez left next to a Bible before killing himself. An attorney for Jenkins-Hernandez said authorities had refused to share the contents of the notes until the investigation into Hernandez’s death was complete.

The judge said Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office can redact information from the notes before producing copies, to protect the ongoing investigation.

A jailhouse friend of Aaron Hernandez says one of three notes the former NFL star left in his cell before killing himself was addressed to him.

Lawrence Army, a lawyer for inmate Kyle Kennedy, said late Monday that he has requested the note be turned over to his client, who has not yet seen it.

Prison officials didn’t immediately comment.

Army declined to describe Kennedy’s relationship to Hernandez but said through a spokesman that Kennedy was not his cellmate and had been placed on suicide watch at the maximum-security prison in Massachusetts as a precaution. Army said Kennedy is no longer on suicide watch.

Authorities have said Hernandez left the notes before he hanged himself Wednesday, but they have declined to say who they were addressed to or what the notes said.

Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence in a 2013 murder, killed himself last week, just days after being acquitted in a 2012 double slaying.

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SOURCE: ESPN, The Associated Press