Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez dead after jail cell hanging

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found hanged by a bed sheet in his jail cell early Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.

Hernandez, 27, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to a statement released by the DOC.

RELATED: Tom Brady to skip White House ceremony honoring Patriots

"On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanging 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 housing.  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 the door with various items.  The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues.  Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified."

Hernandez was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.

Last Friday, Hernandez was found not guilty for the double murder of two men on a Boston street in 2012.

"The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death," Hernandez's attorney Jose Baez wrote in a statement. "There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible.  Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.  Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.

"The Baez Law Firm will participate in its own examination into this tragic event and update the media and public on its findings when they become available."

Hernandez was at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass, at the time of his death. He was found guilty in April 2015 of first-degree murder in the death of Lloyd two years prior. Lloyd, a former friend who dated the sister of Hernandez’s longtime fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, was shot several times by the same kind of gun security footage showed Hernandez possessed.

Investigators began to probe the deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado after Hernandez was charged in the Lloyd case. Abreu and Furtado were killed a vehicle after leaving a Boston nightclub in July 2012, weeks before Hernandez reported to Patriots camp ahead of his third and final season with the Patriots.

Hernandez, prosecutors claimed at the trial, became upset after Abreu and Furtado after they bumped into Hernandez at the nightclub.  A jury, however,  found Hernandez not guilty on murder charge  Friday after six days of deliberations. Hernandez was convicted of an unlawful gun possession charge.

After the verdicts were read, Hernandez turned to Jenkins and mouthed, "I love you."

"I am very, very happy" Jenkins told reporters as she exited court.

Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol, Conn, played with the Patriots from 2010-2012.

As of Wednesday morning the New England Patriots had no comment on the death of former tight end Aaron Hernandez.

"We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Wednesday.

That could change later Wednesday when members of the Patriots organization are scheduled to visit President Trump at the White House to be honored for their Super Bowl LI victory over Atlanta in February.

While some players have said they will skip the White House visit, owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are expected to attend.

Kraft was called to testify during the Hernandez trial for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. 

Belichick, according to reports, had been subpoenaed by the defense to testify in the latest trial, when Hernandez stood accused of killing two men on a Boston street. Belichick was not called to testify. Hernandez was eventually found not guilty.

 
 
 
 
 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment