Since the April 19 death of 27-year-old Aaron Hernandez, lawyer Jose Baez refused to accept his apparent suicide at face value. During a Tuesday hearing to dismiss Hernandez’s conviction for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd — per a Massachusetts legal rule known as “abatement ab initio” — Hernandez’s appellate attorney John Thompson broached the topic again.

In its Tuesday coverage of the hearing, the Boston Herald reported that the subject was first brought up during the hearing to rebut the prosecution’s argument that Hernandez’s murder conviction shouldn’t be overturned because he killed himself.

“After a judge ruled that a long-standing legal principle in Massachusetts requires the vacating of Hernandez's conviction, Thompson told reporters he still has doubts about whether Hernandez killed himself,” reported the Herald. “Thompson says he has recent correspondence from Hernandez in which the former New England Patriots tight end said he was interested in pursuing an appeal.”

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Thompson is hardly the only individual in Hernandez’s orbit who thinks there could be more to the story of the former star athlete’s death. Baez told TMZ last month that the Hernandez family was “not buying the suicide story,” and that an independent investigation had been launched into the circumstances surrounding the event.

Baez also posted a statement to his Twitter account upon hearing the news of Hernandez's death. “The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death,” Baez said in an April 19 statement. “There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible.”

In a separate interview with TMZ this week, Baez said that ongoing investigations and conversations with people close to Hernandez turned up no indication that he was considering suicide — for monetary reasons or otherwise.

“I have no indication from any conversations with Aaron or any conversations anyone has had with Aaron that we’ve investigated that makes that true,” Baez told TMZ Tuesday. “I think that it’s such a long shot of a theory that I don’t give it a shred of credibility at this point.”

The former New England Patriots tight end was found dead in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts on April 19. Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for the Lloyd murder, reportedly used a bed sheet to hang himself from his cell window. Just five days prior, he had been acquitted of murdering Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in July 2012.

Aaron Hernandez Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez sits during his murder trial at Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, April 6, 2015. Photo: Reuters