Aaron Hernandez, an NFL player who was serving a life sentence for murder, is now back in the limelight several months after his suicide in a Massachusetts prison in May. His family is suing the NFL and New England Patriots after tests on the former player’s brain revealed a “severe case” of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Hernandez had stage 3 CTE
Boston University, which has one of the most comprehensive research labs for the brain disease, released a statement saying that Hernandez had stage 3 CTE, which runs on a scale from one to four.
This scan of his brain was released by the university:
Breaking: Boston University says tests show former NFL star Aaron Hernandez had CTE. (Scan of his brain released by BU.) pic.twitter.com/K8H0MkgqRZ
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) September 21, 2017
Attorney Jose Baez claims that the university said it was “the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron’s age.”
Hernandez was serving a life sentence in prison for his 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. In April, he had been acquitted in a double murder, which took place in 2012. Five days after the acquittal, he was found dead in his cell.
The CTE discovery by Boston University adds to the growing list of former NFL players that have the brain disease. It is caused by constant sub-concussive hits to the head, which then leads to increased depression, emotional instability, anger and violence. “We considered arguing this before, but it is hard because of the limited tests available,” says Baez. “His defense was won because of actual innocence in the 2012 murder trial.”
— Peter Amirata