Three handwritten notes were discovered in the cell were Aaron Hernandez hanged himself, leading investigators to officially declare his death a suicide.
The notes were discovered next to a Bible opened to John 3:16, the same verse that Hernandez had written across his forehead in marker.
That verse reads: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’
This comes as DailyMail.com has learned exclusively that Hernandez was planning his suicide for weeks.
The former football star even gave away most of his personal belongings to fellow inmates and covered the floor of his cell in soap, according to a well-paced source. If he lost his nerve he wouldn’t be able to save himself as he would slip around and not be able to land firmly on his feet.
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‘Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Henry N. Nields performed an autopsy on Mr. Hernandez on Wednesday and concluded today that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging,’ stated Massachusetts District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. in a statement on Thursday.
‘An investigation into the death by the State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office and Department of Correction investigators found cardboard jammed into the door tracks of his single-inmate cell to impede entry into the cell.’
The report went on to state: ‘There were no signs of a struggle, and investigators determined that Mr. Hernandez was alone at the time of the hanging.
‘Mr. Hernandez was locked in his cell about 8 p.m. and no one entered the cell until a correction officer observed him at 3:03 a.m. and forced his way through the impeded door to render aid.’
Hernandez’s death came less than a week after he was acquitted of the murders of two Boston men in 2012. He was already serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s finance.
Hernandez’s shock suicide also came on the same day that his former teammates were honored at the White House for their recent Super Bowl win.
Hours after Hernandez’s death, quarterback Tom Brady said he would not be attending the Patriots celebration.
Christopher Fallon, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, sent out a message after Hernandez’s death on Wednesday.
‘On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital,’ said Fallon.
‘Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window.
‘Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.’
A spokesperson for the Patriots said that the team would not be commenting on Hernandez’s death at this time, stating: ‘We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.’
Reports suggest that Hernandez had a violent record in prison, including many fights with other inmates, but he has never attempted suicide.
Hernandez’s attorney Jose Baez is claiming that he and the family believe that the former football star was murdered, and did not commit suicide.
‘There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,’ said Baez.
‘Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.’
As DailyMail.com reported exclusively, the family wants to donate his brain to the team leading research into how football injuries affect behavior.
But the Boston Medical Examiner’s office is holding on to the brain — despite releasing the rest of the convicted murderer’s body to his family following an autopsy.
Efforts to donate the brain to the Boston University team looking into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are being stymied, the Hernandez family’s lawyer Jose Baez told reporters after the Mail’s exclusive report.
Baez believes Hernandez may have been suffering from CTE caused by head injuries received during his football days.
‘We made arrangements for the Boston University CTE unit to take possession of Aaron’s brain,’ Baez said in a hastily convened press conference on the sidewalk outside the medical examiner’s office.
‘It was completely agreed upon,’ he added, saying a team from the university was due to remove the brain at 10 am on Thursday.
It was later reported that Hernandez’s brain would be released to Boston University per his family wishes.
By CHRIS SPARGO FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and MARTIN GOULD IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and LOUISE BOYLE IN BRISTOL, CONNECTICUT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM