Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell Wednesday morning after hanging himself. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, reported ESPN.
Guards found Hernandez, 27, in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.
The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.
Hernandez, who was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison, hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window, officials said.
Hernandez attempted to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said.
Hernandez was moved to tears on Friday after he was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston. Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fiance Shayanna Jenkins. Cameras captured the tender exchange.
But, Hernandez was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee’s sister.
“We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today,” a Patriots spokesman told ESPN Wednesday morning.
Hernandez’s death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House today to mark their Super Bowl win. Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez’s death but didn’t anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.
Massachusetts State Police remain on the scene investigating the death.