Considering Aaron Hernandez’s history, the former NFL star would be an ideal candidate to be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease posthumously diagnosed in people who suffered concussions and head trauma, including many late football players.
And that’s what the family of the former New England Patriots’ tight end wants to do with his brain following his apparent suicide yesterday morning.
But they’re currently unable to do that, as Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, told The Boston Globe today that the Worcester Medical Examiner is “illegally” holding his brain. Baez claims that the medical examiner reneged on its agreement with Hernandez’s family of releasing the brain to Boston University’s renowned CTE unit for testing and research.
“It is our position that they’re holding Aaron Hernandez’s brain illegally,” Baez said. “They have released the body and withheld Aaron’s brain. There’s a fixing procedure in order to take the specimens and it is their position that they’re going to be the ones to do the fixing procedure.”
TMZ Sports additionally reported that Baez is threatening legal action if the medical examiner doesn’t release the brain to Boston University as Hernandez’s family requested.
Watch Baez make his statement below.
Erratic behavior and the willingness to commit suicide are serious symptoms associated with CTE, making Hernandez’s brain all the more intriguing to analyze. CTE can only be detected via a posthumous analysis.
Yesterday, Baez suggested that Hernandez may have been murdered, with him and the former football player’s family saying that there weren’t any indications that the 27-year-old was willing to take his own life.
Baez called on the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, where Hernandez was found hung yesterday morning, to investigate. And he, too, has launched an investigation.
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(Photo: Charles Krupa/AP/REX/Shutterstock)