Jose Baez Is Still Defending Aaron Hernandez: 'You Had a Hard Time Not Liking Him'

Baez defends his former client in a new docu-series.

Attorney Jose Baez continues to defend his client, former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, even after his death.

"What's unique about Aaron is if you knew him you would have a hard time not liking him," Baez told of the former football star and convicted murderer. "I think that when you hear of all these stories that have been previously reported, you're only hearing from people who didn't know the man."

Now Baez is sharing Hernandez's story in a two-night docu-series, with help from Hernandez's fiancee, former teammates and detectives who investigated his case. Aaron Hernandez Uncovered airs on the Oxygen Network on Saturday and Sunday.

"I think in this special you're going to hear from quite a few people who knew Aaron and really give you an insider's perspective into some of the events that happened in his life," Baez said.

In April 2017, the former Patriots tight end was found dead in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, where he was serving a life sentence without parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, the boyfriend of his fiancee's sister.

Lloyd, who was a former semi-professional football player, was shot and killed on June 17, 2013. Nine days later, Hernandez was arrested and charged in Lloyd's death.

"I got to know [Hernandez] quite well in the time I represented him, so his death came as a tremendous blow to not only myself but everybody else on the team," Baez said.

Before his death, the 27-year-old had been acquitted of committing a separate, double murder in 2012.

"In the case that I represented Aaron Hernandez [the double murder], he was absolutely 100 percent innocent," Baez said. "I think the evidence was incredibly overwhelming. I think people who think he was guilty of that crime just didn't know the facts and the jury got that one 100 percent right."

Baez believes there's also doubt that Hernandez killed Lloyd. Hernandez's lawyer at the time acknowledged the football star was at the scene of the crime with two other people. 

"As it relates to his other case, I have a reasonable doubt that he actually committed that crime," Baez said. "I think when you have a case where even the prosecutor doesn't know who the shooter is and there are two other individuals there...

"Aaron had no motive and of course had a lot to lose, whereas the others did not."

The series also examines what emerged after Hernandez's death, the fact that he was suffering from CTE, the degenerative brain disease brought on by head trauma and often associated with football players.

Doctors in Boston said that in Hernandez's short career with the Patriots, he had the worst case of CTE they had ever seen in a person his age. Baez says the diagnosis explained a lot of Aaron's behavior. 

"I want to be clear, I don't think the CTE is what made him a killer or anything like that," he said. "I'm saying that because I believe Aaron was innocent of these crimes. But I do believe that they explain some of his behavior, some of his decision making, lack of impulse control.

"All of these reasons lead me to believe that this is a case that really needs more thought and it's a case that needs to be looked at a lot closer."


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