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Boston — Family members of Aaron Hernandez are asking a judge to order Massachusetts prison officials to preserve evidence so they can investigate the circumstances of his death.

A medical examiner says the former New England Patriots player hanged himself while serving a life sentence for murder.

Hernandez’s fiancé, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, filed a complaint Wednesday on behalf of the daughter she had with Hernandez. It asks that prison officials be barred from altering or destroying any potential evidence, including Hernandez’s writings, video and audio recordings and medical records.

A judge in New Bedford is due to hear the request at 2 p.m. Friday.

Hernandez was found dead in his cell Wednesday, days after being acquitted in a 2012 double homicide case. He was already serving a life term in a 2013 killing.

Meanwhile, Boston University researchers will study Hernandez’s brain to determine if he suffered from the same degenerative brain disease as Hall of Famer Junior Seau and former Bears defensive back Dave Duerson, who also took their own lives.

After a brief public dispute between Massachusetts authorities and Hernandez’s family, the former Patriots tight end’s brain was released to BU’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center. In addition to Seau and Duerson, CTE has been found in the brains of NFL Hall of Famers Ken Stabler, Frank Gifford, Mike Webster and dozens of other former players.

Hernandez attorney Jose Baez wouldn’t say Thursday if he or the family believed potential brain damage from football led to Hernandez’s suicide.

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