Hernandez appeared to have taken great pains to ensure his own death, jamming cardboard into the tracks of his cell's sliding door and spreading a slick of shampoo on the concrete floor so he couldn't be rescued quickly.
(In fact, Anthony paid Baez's legal fees with the money she made licensing photographs of Caylee to ABC News.) Throughout the Anthony trial, local and national media presented Baez as a strip-mall shyster in a bad brown suit who lacked the experience and pedigree to take on such a prominent case.The portrait carried more than a hint of sneering, but it was not entirely untethered from reality.Just a few days earlier, Baez had returned to Miami after a long spell in Boston that had ended with a startling legal victory.Against all expectations, he had secured an acquittal for Aaron Hernandez, the twenty- seven-year-old former NFL star who'd been charged with murdering two men in 2012 and shooting a third, a friend of his who had allegedly witnessed the double murder.In addition to arguing the case, he was finalizing a divorce from his second wife, facing a long absence from his seven-year-old son, and battling a bad case of the flu. That day, before heading out with friends for drinks, Baez spoke with Hernandez by phone about appealing the Lloyd case. Give us a little time.' " Baez's plan to sleep in and take it easy the next morning was thwarted by the barrage of calls and texts.
A voice mail from a reporter explained why: A few hours earlier, at roughly three o'clock in the morning, Hernandez had been found hanging from a bedsheet tied to the window of his cell in the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. His head throbbed from the previous night's caipirinhas, his back ached from an inflamed sciatic nerve, and his cell phone was screaming like the dawn chorus. Baez, who lives on the thirty-fifth floor of a luxury residential tower, is a forty-eight-year-old criminal- defense attorney with a made-for-TV client roster that has earned him comparisons to Johnnie Cochran.He knew what it meant when he saw that the texts and calls lighting up his phone were from the 212 area code: The national media was calling.Hernandez was Massachusetts's most infamous accused killer since Lizzie Borden, and his long odds in the case were made longer by the fact that he was already serving a sentence of life without parole for the June 2013 execution-style shooting of Odin Lloyd, his fiancée's sister's boyfriend.The concluding months of the double-murder trial had been particularly trying for Baez. "I told him, 'I just need maybe a week to decompress.Anthony hired Baez just as her case was starting to make national news.