Hernandez suicide notes ordered to be released ahead of burial - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Hernandez suicide notes ordered to be released ahead of burial

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Hernandez's fiancee and 4-year-old daughter were seen walking into the funeral home on Monday (WFSB) Hernandez's fiancee and 4-year-old daughter were seen walking into the funeral home on Monday (WFSB)
Aaron Hernandez's death was officially ruled a suicide last week. (File photo) Aaron Hernandez's death was officially ruled a suicide last week. (File photo)
A section of Lincoln Avenue ion Bristol will be closed for the funeral services. (WFSB) A section of Lincoln Avenue ion Bristol will be closed for the funeral services. (WFSB)
Police are on the scene of funeral services. (WFSB) Police are on the scene of funeral services. (WFSB)
Hernandez's fiancee and his daughter arrive for funeral in Bristol (WFSB) Hernandez's fiancee and his daughter arrive for funeral in Bristol (WFSB)
BRISTOL, CT (WFSB/AP) -

The family of Bristol native and former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez turned out on Monday afternoon for a private funeral to say their farewells to the former NFL star.

Also on Monday, a judge ordered that three suicide notes he left behind to be turned over by the time he is buried. 

Hernandez's fiancee, mother, and brother were among those spotted arriving at the O'Brien Funeral home on Monday afternoon for the invitation-only service. Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter was seen walking in with her mother.

At one point Hernandez's mother, Terri Hernandez, stepped out ahead of the service to smoke a cigarette on the funeral home's front porch.

NFL players Mike and Maurkice Pouncey were among those seen paying final respects to former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez.

Mike Pouncey is a center for the Miami Dolphins, and Maurkice Pouncey plays the same position for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Former Patriots teammate Brandon Spikes also attended the funeral services.

The twins are among about 50 mourners at the O'Brien Funeral home on Monday afternoon.  

Dr. Michael Baden, whom Hernandez's family retained to perform an independent autopsy, was joined by his wife, Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney.

In preparations of the funeral service, police shut down Lincoln Avenue in the city. A section of Lincoln Avenue will remain closed from Barnes Highway to East Main Street until 4 p.m., according to police.

Police, who were on the scene blocking the street, advised drivers to seek an alternate route. They also parked their cruisers in front of the funeral home.

Hernandez took his own life at a Massachusetts correction facility last week, according to police.

Hernandez's body was brought to the home on Saturday morning. The former football star committed suicide just days after he was acquitted of a double murder in Boston that happened in 2012. He had already been serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013.

Ahead of the 1 p.m. service, a lawyer for Hernandez's fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, asked a Massachusetts judge to release copies of three notes Hernandez left next to a Bible before killing himself.

He said Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.'s office had refused to share the contents of the notes until the investigation into Hernandez's death is complete.

The judge said Early's office can redact information from the notes before producing copies to protect the ongoing investigation.

A judge on Friday ordered key evidence in the prison suicide preserved, granting a request from Hernandez's fiancee so the family can investigate the circumstances of his death.

In a statement released by the family through the Funeral Directors Association, they thanked everyone for their "thoughtful condolences and support during this difficult time."

Hernandez's body is expected to be cremated next week. The burial will also be private and at an undisclosed location.

People in the area told Eyewitness News that they're thinking of those affected by his death.

"You have to be accountable for your actions, no one wins," said Carla Garcia of New Britain. "He had everything going for him, his career. It's so sad."

To see photos depicting Aaron Hernandez's life through the criminal justice system, click here

For real-time traffic updates, check the WFSB traffic page here.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.