Thirteen months after former football star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in prison, his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, announced that she’s expecting her second child.
“Many of you have had speculated that I may be expecting another miracle which is very accurate, I wanted to take time and process and post when I was ready to. I wanted to have a moment for myself alone with my daughter … we are beyond excited about the new addition and chapter we will soon begin,” Jenkins, 28, wrote on Instagram, accompanied by a bump-revealing photo.
The surprise announcement has left many who knew the former football star wondering what Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence in prison for murder, would have thought of the latest developments.
“Aaron had demons; we all know that,” says a former teammate of Hernandez’s from the University of Florida. “But he really was devoted to his daughter. Boy, did he love her. I think he’d be very glad to know that she was going to have a little sister.”
The former teammate believes the baby is not Hernandez’s.
Hernandez and Jenkins had a complicated relationship. They welcomed their daughter Avielle, 5, in 2012. In November of that year, the two also became engaged, although they never married.
“In many ways, Shayanna was the best thing to ever happen to him,” says the teammate. “He was crazy about her. She knew a lot of things about him, and she accepted him anyway.”
One of the things that Jenkins’ accepted about Hernandez was his bisexuality. “She knew that about him,” says the source, “And she supported him.”
So would Hernandez be okay with the fact that Jenkins has moved on with her life? “She was so loyal to him,” says the former teammate. “He would be happy for her.”
Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, was arrested in 2013 for the murder of Odin Lloyd, a man dating Jenkins’ sister. As he awaited trial, he was charged with the fatal drive-by shootings of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado.
He was convicted of Lloyd’s murder and given sentenced to life in prison; he was acquitted of the double homicide in April 2017 and days later was found dead in his prison cell. The disgraced athlete had killed himself, he was 27.
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In May 2017, Jenkins appeared on the Dr. Phil show and said she did not believe the athlete killed himself, despite authorities’ determination otherwise.
“I don’t think this was a suicide,” she told Dr. Phil McGraw, citing his acquittal and pending appeal on the Odin case. “That would make me doubt that he took his own life. He was very positive, so excited to come home.”
She added that Hernandez had spoken with their daughter after his acquittal and told her, “Daddy’s gonna be home.”