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It has been a tumultuous few years for Aaron Hernandez’s family who have been dragged into the spotlight throughout Hernandez’s two murder trials. The family received more bad news on April 19, 2017 that Aaron had committed suicide in prison.
According to TMZ, Aaron’s lawyer, Jose Baez, has announced the family would like a full investigation into whether Aaron was murdered inside of prison.
For their part, the family has not commented publicly since Aaron’s death. Instead, there is a sign on the door of their Connecticut home that reads “no comment”.
Aaron leaves behind his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins and daughter Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez; mother Terri Hernandez and brother, Jonathan Hernandez. Aaron and his family are from Bristol, Connecticut.
Read more about Aaron’s family.
1. Aaron’s Brother, Jonathan, Was a Graduate Assistant For Iowa’s Football Team But No School Would Hire Him After His Brother’s Trial
Aaron’s multiple murder trials not only impacted him but also those closest to him. His brother Jonathan, who changed his name from DJ, was once a rising college football coach. He served as a graduate assistant at Iowa. He was attempting to get a full-time position but doors were closed at every turn.
Jonathan was willing to even coach at the Division II level, but teams were unwilling to deal with the potentially negative publicity. He explained the process to Sports Illustrated.
“They don’t want the negative publicity. Which is completely fine. I understand. [But] I couldn’t get anything. I was trapped,” Jonathan told Sports Illustrated.
It changed every detail of Jonathan’s life from job opportunities to women’s reluctance to go on a date with him. He now goes by his middle name, Jonathan, in hopes of a fresh start. After being unable to find work in college football, Jonathan began a roofing business, High Rise Roofing, in Wylie, Texas.
2. His Father, Dennis, Died at 49 After Complications From a Hernia Surgery
Dennis Hernandez passed away on January 6, 2006 after having complications with what was expected to be a routine hernia surgery. “Dennis was employed at Bristol Eastern High School and took great pleasure in watching his sons play sports and attending their games. He also greatly enjoyed being with his family and friends,” Dennis’ obituary reads in the Hartford Courant.
Some people close to Hernandez believe he never recovered from the the sudden death of his father. Aaron was just 16 years old at the time of his death.
3. Aaron’s Mother, Terri, Was Cut in the Face by Her Second Husband, Jeffrey Cummings
After the death of her husband, Terri married Jeffrey Cummings, who had a checkered past. According to the Daily Beast, Cummings had a criminal record that included drug-related charges as well as domestic violence.
His past followed him into his marriage with Aaron’s mother, Terri. After a night of drinking, he attacked Terri with a knife. According to the Boston Globe, she suffered cuts on her cheek, shoulder and wrist.
This landed Cummings back in prison, and Terri filed for divorce after the incident.
4. His Mother Believed It Was the Death of His Father That Sent Aaron Into a Downward Spiral
Terri believed that the death of his father changed Aaron for the worst. She explained the impact in an interview with USA Today conducted years before the murder inverstigation.
“He would rebel. It was very, very hard, and he was very, very angry. He wasn’t the same kid, the way he spoke to me. The shock of losing his dad, there was so much anger,” Terri told the USA Today.
Terri thought her son had finally turned the corner and was on a better path as she explained to USA Today in the same 2009 interview.
“He’s my Aaron again. Just now everything’s getting better, and it took him three years. I thought I lost him for good. He wasn’t the same kid. Now he’s back, the same fun-loving Aaron,” Terri told USA Today.
5. Aaron’s Lawyer, Jose Baez, Announced the Family Will Launch an Investigation Into Aaron’s Death
TMZ reported the family is not convinced Aaron committed suicide and will launch an investigation into their son being potentially murdered inside prison. TMZ explained the thought process of the family and Aaron’s lawyer, Jose Baez.
Aaron Hernandez may not have died as the result of suicide … it could be murder orchestrated within the prison walls — so claims the lawyer who represented him.
We’ve learned attorney Jose Baez — who just got a not guilty verdict for Aaron last week in the double murder case — has launched an investigation on behalf of Hernandez’ family and they are not buying the suicide story.
We’re told Baez believes this could be a murder either by inmates or the folks who run the prison.
For their part, the family put up a sign on their house with the words “no comment” on the front door.
is a sports and news contributor to Heavy. Jonathan graduated from UCF with a Master of Sport Business Management degree and has worked in a variety of capacities in the sports world. Follow him on Twitter @JonDAdams.
April 19, 2017 3:52 pm