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The lawyer who led the defense for convicted killer and former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez adamantly denied that the former football star penned a suicide note to a gay lover, while his attorneys asked a court to dismiss his murder conviction.
"Rumors of letters to a gay lover, in or out of prison, are false,” attorney Jose Baez said in a statement to NBC News on Tuesday. "These are malicious leaks used to tarnish someone who is dead."
Three hand-written suicide notes that Hernandez left behind were released by jail officials to his family on Monday in time for his funeral.
The former New England Patriots tight end was serving a sentence of life when he killed himself in his jail cell at a Lancaster, Massachusetts, prison last week, authorities said.
One of the suicide notes was addressed to Hernandez' fiancée and the mother of his daughter, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, and a second was addressed to his child, a spokesperson for the Worcester County District Attorney's Office, told NBC News Monday afternoon.
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When asked who the third letter was addressed to, if anyone, spokesperson Paul Jarvey said, “the information I have is unclear.”
Authorities had said three letters and a Bible were recovered in Hernandez’ single-person prison cell at the at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, but did not say what the notes contained.
Rumors have swirled about the contents of the third letter after reportsin the Daily Mail and Newsweek — citing anonymous sources "close to the investigation" — alleged that the third letter was written to a jailhouse lover of Hernandez.
The Daily Mail later reported that the man was a 22-year-old inmate named Kyle Kennedy.
Kennedy’s lawyer Larry Army Jr. said in a statement to NBC Boston on Monday that Kennedy was "very saddened by the loss of his friend, Aaron Hernandez."
Army claimed in the statement that a letter was left to his client but did not indicate how he knew that and admitted that they had not seen the letter.
"We will be requesting that the letter be turned over to my client a soon as possible," Army wrote. The statement did not mention a romantic relationship between the two.
Baez, Hernandez’ former lead attorney, denied the claim that any letter was addressed to Kennedy — or anyone else.
"Notwithstanding my unambiguous statement that there were no such letters, representatives, on behalf of an individual named Kyle Kennedy, continues to advise the media such a gay love letter exists,” he said in the statement.
“Accordingly, on behalf of the family of Aaron Hernandez, I am reaffirming, unequivocally, no such letter to Mr, Kennedy, or any other individual, in or out of prison, exists,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday other attorneys for Hernandez filed a motion to dismiss his first-degree murder conviction for the fatal shooting of friend and semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.
The attorneys argued that Massachusetts courts have vacated the convictions of defendants who die before having their appeal heard.
A spokesperson for Bristol County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News on Tuesday that they were reviewing the matter and planned to file an opposition to the motion within the next week.
Earlier this month, Hernandez was found not guilty of murder in a 2012 drive-by shooting that killed two. A judge sentenced him to four to five years for a weapons charge.
Hernandez’ family said it was donating his brain to science for study regarding possible brain trauma as a result of his football career.