The bet is now off. Attorney Jose Baez represented former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the appeal for his murder trial for the 2013 death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd. But they didn’t have just a lawyer-client relationship, they also became over the years. Now, Jose is opening up about the Aaron he knew in his latest book, Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez — and Jose revealed the bet that he made with Aaron before his death last year.
“I told him that I had played baseball and football when I was younger,” Jose told People. “And he asked me, ‘Were you any good?’ And I said, ‘Hell yeah. I was really fast.’ He didn’t believe me.”
Aaron then bet Jose that he couldn’t run a 40-mile dash in 4.8 seconds, which is just a little bit longer than Aaron’s own personal record of 4.64 seconds. So Jose started to train in preparation for their bet.
“It took me a month and a half, but I wanted to do it for Aaron,” he says. “And then I finally did it. And I had it videotaped so I could show it to him.”
But Jose never got to show Aaron the video of his 40-mile dash because Aaron died before he could show it to him. “It was really a blow,” says Baez. “I wanted to show it to him. It was a way to keep his mind off everything else that was going on.”
On April 19, 2017, correction officers found Aaron’s body in his jail cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility in Lancaster, MA which is where he had been serving a life sentence for Odin Lloyd’s murder, according to CNN. His cause of death was ruled suicide by hanging, and he wrote three suicide notes: one to his then-fiancée Shayanna Jenkins, his daughter Avielle Jenkins-Hernandez, and one for Jose.