Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 double homicide that took the lives of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado earlier this month, and on Tuesday, a juror on the case confirmed he was invited to the disgraced Patriot's funeral on Monday.
According to Robert Monroe, who served on the jury who acquitted Hernandez of the killings, he was invited to attend Monday's service in the late athlete's hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.
"I was invited, but I decided ultimately not to go," Monroe confirmed to the Boston Herald on April 25. "I received a message, if any of the jurors wanted to go to the Aaron Hernandez funeral, that Jose Baez would rent a bus to get us back and forth."
Robert Monroe was one of 12 jurors who acquitted Aaron Hernandez of the 2012 murders on April 14, just five days before he committed suicide in his prison cell. As for the other jurors, Monroe said he was unsure if any of them attended the funeral service.
Friends and family attend private funeral for former NFL star Aaron Hernandez who committed suicide in his prison… https://t.co/LksEksizos
— Enoch Jeremiah (@EnochJeremiah7) April 25, 2017
"I actually asked a bunch of my friends, should I go, 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," Monroe said.
Aaron Hernandez was found hanging from a bedsheet in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center last Wednesday and officially pronounced dead at the Leominster hospital an hour later.
According to the Boston Herald, Aaron Hernandez's private funeral service at the O'Brien Funeral Home was attended by about 100 people who arrived in an endless string of Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, and black Cadillac SUVs. Among the most notable were NFL centers Mike Pouncey of the Miami Dolphins and Maurkice Pouncey of Pittsburgh Steelers, and linebacker Brandon Spikes.
Aaron Hernandez's mother, Terry Hernandez, was also seen arriving at the event with the late football star's brother, as was his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, and their daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez.
Hernandez and Jenkins welcomed their daughter in 2012 and became engaged that same year.
Mourners arrive for Aaron Hernandez's funeral #AaronHernandez https://t.co/Bq1jNeiEkX
— AshleyVictoria (@theRealAshleyV) April 24, 2017
Aaron Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd at the time of his death. However, because he had filed an appeal before taking his life, Hernandez was technically an innocent man when he died.
Robert Monroe went on to reveal that while he was initially taken aback by the funeral invitation, he said he believed there were good intentions behind the invite.
While Jose Baez has not confirmed or denied whether he was behind the invite to Monroe, Monroe said the attorney likely wanted to acknowledge the jury's commitment to the case.
"If it was Jose Baez who set this whole thing up, I could see he recognized that we were in the same room with [Aaron Hernandez], for about two months," Monroe explained. "That perhaps some of us would want that, maybe some of the religious juror members."
#AaronHernandez's #Mom, #Daughter, #Brother, #Finace and other #Family members arriving at his #Funeral in #Conn… https://t.co/OEEXtJ2EOY pic.twitter.com/oyaHiaG60f
— Cheekywiki.com (@Cheekywiki) April 24, 2017
Aaron Hernandez's death has been plagued with questions in regard to a potential murder and allegations of a secret life with a gay lover. However, days after Hernandez passed, his suicide was confirmed. As for the reports of a prison romance, there does not appear to be any solid evidence of any such thing, despite the ongoing theories.
[Featured Image by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]