FU­NERAL

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Notes found by ex-NFL star Her­nan­dez’s body turned over to fam­ily

Three hand­writ­ten notes found by the body of for­mer New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots star Aaron Her­nan­dez fol­low­ing his sui­cide in a Mas­sachusetts prison cell last week were re­leased to his fam­ily on Mon­day, an of­fi­cial said.

Fam­ily and loved ones of Her­nan­dez at­tended a pri­vate fu­neral that af­ter­noon at his home­town in Bris­tol, Con­necti­cut.

Some of the notes “could be con­sid­ered sui­cide notes,” Daniel Bennett, Mas­sachusetts’ sec­re­tary of pub­lic safety, told reporters.

The notes, found near a Bi­ble, were handed over in full, the district at­tor­ney’s spokesman said. Officials have not re­leased the notes pub­licly or pro­vided de­tails on their con­tents.

Her­nan­dez was found hanged by a bed sheet in prison last Wed­nes­day in what Mas­sachusetts officials have ruled a sui­cide. Her­nan­dez had been a ris­ing star with a $41 mil­lion NFL con­tract when he was ar­rested in June 2013 and charged with mur­der­ing an ac­quain­tance in an in­dus­trial park not far from the Pa­tri­ots’ sta­dium. He was serv­ing a sen­tence of life in prison with­out pos­si­bil­ity of pa­role af­ter be­ing found guilty of that mur­der when he hanged him­self, ac­cord­ing to state officials. Her­nan­dez’s death oc­curred just days af­ter his ac­quit­tal of a sep­a­rate 2012 dou­ble mur­der. “We wish to say good­bye to Aaron in a pri­vate cer­e­mony and thank every­one in ad­vance for af­ford­ing us a mea­sure of pri­vacy dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” the fam­ily said in a state­ment ahead of the fu­neral. The lawyer who suc­cess­fully de­fended the 27-year-old for­mer ath­lete in the dou­ble-mur­der trial has vowed to con­duct his own in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cir­cum­stances of Her­nan­dez’s death at the Souza­Bara­nowski Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter in Lan­caster, west of Bos­ton.

Friends leave the Her­nan­dez fu­neral.

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