Aaron Hernandez's brain will be examined for CTE

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Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez writes a note during his murder trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass., on February 4, 2015.

Nields performed an autopsy on Hernandez yesterday and concluded today that the manner of death was suicide and the cause asphyxia by hanging, according to the statement.

Investigators found three hand-written notes next to a Bible in the cell, the statement said.

Baez said the family wanted Hernandez's brain turned over to Boston University's CTE center, which studies chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition linked to the sort of repeated head hits common in football that can lead to aggression and dementia later in life.

Attorney Jose Baez, who represented Hernandez in his recent double-homicide trial, blasted the actions he says the ME is taking to "illegally hold" Hernandez's brain in its office. "It is literally a destruction of evidence issue".

Hernandez's family has reportedly called for an immediate probe.

Hernandez was found hanging in his cell early Wednesday at a maximum-security prison where he was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder.

The change in Hernandez's legal status could force the Patriots to pay his family US$3.25 million (S$4.5 million) in signing-bonus money they have withheld in the wake of the charges against him in three murders, and the National Football League might similarly be compelled to make pension payments to Hernandez's family.

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he won't draw any conclusions about the investigation into Hernandez's apparent suicide until that investigation is completed.

Baez says Hernandez's family had arranged for Boston University to study the former New England Patriots tight end's brain as part of its concussion research.

"It is our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally", Baez said.

Investigators officially ruled Aaron Hernandez's death a suicide and released new details about the circumstances of his hanging on Thursday.

Baez said his team did not know for certain if Hernandez suffered from CTE or if it contributed to his death.

Father John Geoghan, a Catholic priest convicted on child molestation charges and known as a key figure in the clergy sex abuse scandal that mired the Boston Archdiocese also had his convictions vacated after he was beaten to death in his cell in 2003 at the same MA maximum-security prison where Hernandez died Wednesday.

He is also survived by his and Shayanna's four-year-old daughter, Avielle.

He had been serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 slaying of a onetime friend, Odin Lloyd. His death came less than a week after his acquittal on murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.

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