The 12 jurors who acquitted Aaron Hernandez, 27, of double homicide charges were invited to the former New England Patriots tight end’s funeral, which was held on Monday in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, according to the Boston Herald.
Although 27-year-old Boston native Robert Monroe, one of the jurors, refused to say where the invite came from, he stated that he received an invitation to attend Hernandez’s funeral last week, but “ultimately decided not to go.”
“I received a message if any of the jurors wanted to go to the Aaron Hernandez funeral, that Jose Baez [Hernandez’s attorney] would rent a bus to get us back and forth,” Monroe said.
Monroe was stunned after receiving the invitation to attend Hernandez’s funeral and had to ask several friends if he should attend, and “they thought it was strange.”
“Initially, I wanted to go and maybe get some closure, this whole, confusing thing… his suicide… I would have been out of place, I’m not family or a friend,” he said.
Monroe went on to say that if Hernandez’s attorney was behind the notion of sending invitations to the jurors who acquitted Hernandez, he believes his intentions were good.
“If it was Jose Baez who set this whole thing up, I could see he recognized that we were in the same room with this guy (Hernandez), for about two months. That perhaps some of us would want that, maybe some of the religious juror members.”
Hernandez was serving a life sentenced after being convicted of the 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiance.
Last week, prison guards at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center found Hernandez dead in his cell. He apparently hanged himself with a bedsheet near a window, leaving behind three hand-written suicide notes that were found next to a bible.
Hernandez was transported to the Leominster hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour after arrival.
After Hernandez’s suicide, rumors began to spread like wildfire.
Although Hernandez’s death was ruled a suicide, it was initially believed that he may have been murdered in prison.
More rumors began to surface after authorities got a hold of Hernandez’s suicide notes. It was purported that one of the suicide notes was addressed to a fellow inmate, Kyle Kennedy, 22, who had been romantically involved with the former New England Patriots tight end.
According to Kennedy’s attorney, Larry Army, Hernandez was initially alone in his cell and later requested to be cellmates with his alleged prison lover.
After Hernandez’s death, Kennedy was supposedly placed on suicide watch, but has since been taken off and he is now in protective custody.
— Shaun Chaiyabhat (@ShaunWCVB) April 24, 2017
Army claims that “the decision to move him to a protective unit was a standard precaution, but my client did not and has not exhibited any dangerous or risky behavior as a result of this situation.”
Authorities now believe that Hernandez may have murdered Lloyd in an effort to keep his alleged bisexual life concealed from his family and friends.
Hernandez’s attorney denies that he had a secret bisexual life and claims that the rumors are false.
Kennedy’s attorney confirmed that Kennedy and Hernandez were prison lovers and Hernandez left a suicide note addressed to his client, but he has yet to read it.
Hours before Hernandez’s funeral, a Massachusetts judge ordered the district attorney’s office to release a copy of the suicide letters to Hernandez’s family before he was laid to rest.
More than 100 people attended Hernandez’s funeral, which was a private, invitation-only service held at the O’Brien Funeral Home.
Although Monroe did not attend Hernandez’s funeral, it is unclear if any of the other jurors made an appearance.
[Featured Image by Josh Reynolds/AP Image]