When attorney Jose Baez first met Aaron Hernandez in 2016, the former NFL star was already serving life in prison. The then-26-year-old had been arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd, an acquaintance, in 2013, after three seasons with the New England Patriots. Now, he needed a lawyer for another indictment, involving an earlier double-homicide.
Baez took the case, and grew close with the athlete. He helped Hernandez win an acquittal on April 14, 2017, but days later, on April 19, the 27-year-old hanged himself in his cell. A brain scan revealed that the former tight-end had suffered severe brain injuries consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), due to repeated head blows while playing football. Doctors said that it was the most severe case they had seen in someone so young.