Aaron Hernandez, the former tight end for the New England Patriots, was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning, the result of an apparent suicide. He was 27.
Hernandez was being held in the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum security facility in Lancaster, Massachusetts, after being found guilty for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. He was sentenced to life in prison, with no parole. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections issued the following statement:
On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming his door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on the scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.
Last week, a jury acquitted Hernandez of a separate double murder charge that occurred in 2012.
Hernandez was drafted by the Patriots in 2010, with the 113th overall pick. He played three seasons under head coach Bill Belichick and impressed enough to earn a five-year, $40 million contract extension before his rookie deal had even expired, a rarity in the NFL (especially for non-quarterbacks).
According to The Boston Globe, the Patriots do not plan to comment on Hernandez’s death.
“We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today,’’ said a team spokesman.
The team is visiting the White House on Wednesday to celebrate their championship in Super Bowl 51.