Aaron Hernandez's family wants to donate his brain for research, their lawyer said during a press conference in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Thursday, April 20. Defense attorney Jose Baez, however, claimed that the Worcester Medical Examiner's Office is holding onto the late star's organ illegally. Watch the video above.
"There are very specific protocols that are involved so that this could be done correctly and that the results can be defined accurately. It is extremely important that these protocols are followed," Baez said. "They have released the body and withheld Aaron's brain. It is their position that there is a fixing procedure in order to take the specimens, and it's their position that they are going to be the ones to do the fixing procedure."
As previously reported, Hernandez was discovered hanging in his jail cell by corrections officers at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, around 3:05 a.m. on Wednesday. The 27-year-old was serving a life sentence for the killing of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. He was convicted of first-degree murder in 2015.
According to Baez, Hernandez's family does not have "confidence" in the medical examiner's office "given the history of this case, the history of missing evidence, the history of misconduct." Instead, they want the Boston University CTE unit to takeover.
"We wanted to bring it the public's attention so that everyone is aware of this gross mishandling of something so sensitive. And to the dignity of this family who is in mourning right now," he said on Thursday. "The fact that they are going through enough and now we have to have a battle over the one person's decision, and that's what we believe it is."
Baez clarified that he is not suggesting that Hernandez's prior football injuries are linked to his suicide. He said that the next step is "part of the investigation" and that they are "leaving no stone unturned."
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