Sports | August 16, 2017 10:46 am

Aaron Hernandez’s Criminal Defense Attorney Speaks Out

Jose Baez reveals some of his late client's secrets to Esquire.

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Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez. (Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty)

Jose Baez was one of the last people to speak to Aaron Hernandez before the disgraced former New England Patriots star took his own life.

As Esquire reports, Baez, who’s been compared by some to O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran for his list of clients that have included Casey Anthony, helped Hernandez beat a double-murder charge, despite the ex-NFLer already serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder. In the wake of the verdict, “[Hernandez] was looking forward to his future. He had a shot,” Baez told Esquire‘s Alex French. “I told him, ‘I just need maybe a week to decompress. Give us a little time.’”

The following morning, Baez learned the shocking news that everyone else had: Hernandez had taken his own life in prison. “There was in no way, shape, or form ever a clue,” Baez told Esquire. “This completely came out of left field.”

According to Baez, he was hesitant to take Hernandez’s double-murder case but “connected” with him after meeting Hernandez in prison, the two bonding over their Puerto Rican heritage. “There’s a Spanish saying when a person is Hispanic and they shy away from it,” said Baez. “That’s called an arrepentido. That’s what I used to call him, just to f—k with him. Aaron’s a white name, but that’s not his fault; his parents named him that.”

Baez also told Esquire that he’d read three years worth of Hernandez’s texts, “all of his emails,” and listened in on every phone conversation he had from jail. “I’ve seen what’s behind the curtains,” said Baez. “I really believe that people look to the story line and just try to search for things that reaffirm what they’ve already been told.”