Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell this morning.
The ex-New England Patriots tight end was serving a life sentence without parole. Just five days ago he was brought to tears as he was acquitted of a 2012 double murder. Massachusetts officials said that they found Hernandez unresponsive in his cell just after 3 a.m. He was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial- Health Alliance Hospital. He was 27 years-old.
Hernandez was in a single cell in general population housing unit in the prison. He tried to jam the door from the inside by blocking in with various items. He hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to a cell window. Officials said that they are not aware of any suicide notes written by Hernandez.
“The family and legal team are shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death,” Hernandez’s lawyer Jose Baez said in a statement. “There was 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.”
Hernandez’s former agent, Brian Murphy said “there was absolutely no chance” Hernandez took his own life.
Multiple players across the league posted statements on their social media to express their gratitude after hearing about the loss of Hernandez.
Hernandez played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. He was released from the team in June 2013, shortly after he was arrested in Lloyd’s killing.
Hernandez death comes the same day that the Patriots are supposed to visit the White House in celebration of winning the Super Bowl.