BOSTON, MA — Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, was found dead early Wednesday in his prison cell.
Hernandez, 27, was found by guards hanging 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.
Massachusetts prisons officials said the death appeared to be a suicide, and that Hernandez hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window in the maximum-security prison. The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital about an hour later.
Fallon said he’s not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez , and said officials had no indication that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life.
On Friday, Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 double murders 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 fiancée Shayanna Jenkins. But he was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Massachusetts State Police have said that the investigation is still ongoing.
Hernandez’s death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House today to mark their Super Bowl win.
Main photo: Aaron Hernandez [ESPN (screenshot)]