Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison

Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison

Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison

BOSTON – Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and convicted two days ago of a double murder, died after hanging in his cell on Wednesday.

Hernandez, 27, was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 in the morning, Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.

The former New England Patriots finalist was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.

Hernandez was in a single cell in a housing unit of general population in the maximum security prison. He hanged himself using a bed sheet that tied a cell window, Fallon said.

Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with several items, Fallon said.

Fallon said he is not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez and stressed that an investigation is ongoing. He said officials were not concerned that Hernandez planned to commit suicide, and if there was concern for his well-being, Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit.

Hernandez was moved to tears on Friday after he was acquitted of the deadly shots of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in 2012. Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses at the girl he fathered with the fiancée Shayanna Jenkins. The cameras captured the tender exchange.

But Hernandez was still serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shootout of Odin Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins’ sister.

He was tried but acquitted in the murders of Abreu and Furtado, whom prosecutors held were shot down after one of the men accidentally spilled a drink in Hernandez at a Boston nightclub. The jury found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder, but convicted him of illegally possessing a weapon, and the judge sentenced him to four or five additional years in prison, separated from his life sentence.

Hernandez’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hernandez’s death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House today to mark their Super Bowl victory.

“We are aware of the reports, but I do not expect that we will be commenting today,” a Patriots spokesman told ESPN Wednesday morning.

The Massachusetts State Police is still on the scene investigating death.

Hernandez grew up in Connecticut and played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. The team released him in June 2013 shortly after he was arrested in Lloyd’s murder.


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