Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 21st 2017 Contents BOSTON---Aaron Hernandez's
death in prison has been ruled
a suicide and the former NFL
star's brain is being donated to
sports concussion researchers,
Massachusetts authorities said
The declaration by prosecutors,
state police and public health offi-
cials came after a tumultuous day
in which Hernandez's lawyer sug-
gested the state was mishandling
the investigation and illegally with-
holding his brain after releasing the
rest of the body to a funeral home.
Authorities said the medical ex-
aminer had ruled cause of death was
asphyxia by hanging and that inves-
tigators had found three handwrit-
ten notes next to a Bible in Hernan-
dez's cell at the Souza-Baranowski
Correctional Center in Shirley. Au-
thorities previously said Hernandez
had not left a suicide note and he
hadn't been on suicide watch.
"There were no signs of a strug-
gle, and investigators determined
that Mr Hernandez was alone at the
time of the hanging," the statement
Hernandez had been locked into
his cell at about 8 pm and no one
entered the cell until a guard saw
him just after 3 am and forced his
way in because cardboard had been
jammed into the door track to im-
pede entry, authorities said. Her-
nandez was found hanging from a
bedsheet and rushed to a hospital,
where he was pronounced dead
about an hour later.
Earlier yesterday, Hernandez's
lawyer complained that state offi-
cials had turned over the 27-year-
old's body but not his brain.
Attorney Jose Baez said the family
had arranged for researchers at Bos-
ton University's Chronic Traumat-
ic Encephalopathy Center to take
custody of the brain. The center
studies a progressive degenerative
brain disease found in some athletes
who have experienced repetitive
brain trauma. Hernandez's body is
at a Boston-area funeral home, but
services will likely be held elsewhere
for the Connecticut native.
Baez says he's retained Dr Mi-
chael Baden, a former chief medi-
cal examiner for New York City, to
perform an independent autopsy.
Baden, who didn't immediately
comment, has performed autop-
sies in several high-profile cases,
including the death of Michael
Brown, a black teen who was shot
and killed by a white police officer
in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.
Baez declined to say whether he
or the family believed brain damage
from Hernandez's playing days led
the 27-year-old former New Eng-
land Patriots player to kill himself.
"We're not suggesting anything,"
he said. "You go where the evidence
takes you. We need to examine
every aspect of this case."
It's generally best for researchers
to get access to a brain within hours
of death to determine the presence
of Chronic Traumatic Encephalop-
athy or other neurodegenerative
diseases, said Dr Lee Goldstein, a
CTE researcher at Boston Universi-
ty. Researchers also prefer to receive
the entire brain as a small piece may
not tell the whole story, he added.
Other questions surrounding
Hernandez's death still remain
Authorities have still not released
the incident report, officers' logs or
video footage from the area around
Hernandez's cell, despite repeated
requests from The Associated Press.
Massachusetts Gov Charlie Baker
said he wasn't drawing any con-
clusions until the full details of
investigation are revealed.
"Any time someone kills them-
selves in prison something clearly
went wrong," he said, adding that
he had full confidence in prison of-
ficials and was unaware of any staff
Another unknown: why Hernan-
dez would kill himself just days after
the he was cleared of two murder
He had been serving a life sen-
tence without parole for the 2013
slaying of a onetime friend. But dur-
ing his trial in Boston for the killing
of two men in Boston in 2012, he
appeared upbeat, constantly back-
slapping his lawyers, letting out bel-
lowing laughs and blowing kisses to
his 4-year-old daughter and other
family members in the audience.
The former University of Flor-
ida standout died five days after
a jury acquitted him in those two
deaths, which prosecutors alleged
were precipitated by one of the men
accidentally spilling a drink on
Hernandez at a Boston nightclub.
His death also came just hours
before his former New England
Patriots teammates visited the
White House Wednesday to cel-
ebrate their Super Bowl victory.
The apparent suicide left friends,
family and his legal team in disbe-
lief as many searched for an expla-
nation to the tragic end of a young
man whose football skills at one
point earned him a five-year, $40
million contract extension with the
NFL's top franchise.
What's to become of Hernan-
dez's home and other assets is
another unanswered question.
house that he bought not far from
Gillette Stadium for $1.3 million in
November 2012 is still up for sale.
It was put on the market for $1.5
million in March 2016, but the price
has since dropped to $1.3 million.
guardian.co.tt Friday, April 21, 2017
Harden's Rockets overcame
HOUSTON---James Harden scored 35 points
and the Houston Rockets overcame 51 points
from Russell Westbrook in the highest-scoring
triple-double in playoff history, beating the
Oklahoma City Thunder 115-111 on Wednes-
day night to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round
Western Conference playoff series.
Westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record
and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the
sixth career playoff triple-double for Westbrook,
who had an NBA-record 42 in the regular season.
But he shot just 4 for 18 in the fourth quarter as
the Rockets clawed back from a double-digit deficit
to surge ahead before holding on.
Game 3 is tonight in Oklahoma City.
The game was tied before Houston scored 10
straight points with 3-pointers from Harden, Pat-
rick Beverley and Eric Gordon to make it 114-104
with 1:22 remaining. Westbrook had four straight
points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thunder
wouldn't get any closer.
WARRIORS 110, TRAIL BLAZERS 81
OAKLAND, California---Stephen Curry scored
19 points on an off night, JaVale McGee sparked
Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the
short-handed Warriors beat Portland in Game 2
of their first-round playoff series without injured
leading scorer Kevin Durant.
McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars
found their consistent shooting strokes. The backup
big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts
and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop
dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf
he hurt in the playoff opener Sunday.
Draymond Green had another fantastic all-around
game, getting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, six points
and three more blocked shots after swatting five
in Sunday's win.
Curry went 6 for 18 and also had six assists and
six rebounds. Klay Thompson was 6 of 17 with 16
points and CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard were
hardly were the dynamic scoring duo for Portland
they'd been combining for 75 points only three days
WIZARDS 109, HAWKS 101
WASHINGTON---In a rough-and-tumble, foul-
filled game, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth
quarter with 16 of his 31 points, including a key late
3-pointer, helping Washington beat Atlanta for a 2-0
lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
John Wall earned chants of "M-V-P!" while fin-
ishing with 32 points and nine assists, including the
dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38
seconds remaining that sealed the win for the hosts.
Washington, which trailed 78-74 entering the
final period, won despite only a combined seven
points from starting forwards Markieff Morris and
Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trouble early.
The series now shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 is
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 27 points and 10
rebounds, and Dennis Schroder scored 23 points.
But Dwight Howard had only seven rebounds, half
his Game 1 total, and six points. (AP)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 12,
2017, file photo, Shayanna Jenkins
Hernandez, fiancee of former New
England Patriots tight end Aaron
Hernandez, sits in the courtroom
with the couple's daughter during
jury deliberations in Hernandez's
double-murder trial at Suffolk
Superior Court in Boston. AP PHOTOS
In this September 13, 2006 photo,
Bristol Central tight end Aaron
Hernandez appears in Bristol, Conn.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives past Houston Rockets
guard Eric Gordon during the first half in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round
playoff series on Wednesday, in Houston. AP PHOTO
Aaron Hernandez death ruled suicide, brain goes to science
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