NFL star Aaron J. Hernandez, 27, has been found dead in his prison cell just days after being acquitted of a double murder. The former New England Patriots star and already once-convicted killer was serving out a life sentence without parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013.
The news comes as a shock to many, considering he was acquitted of two additional murders just days before his death.
The former acclaimed NFL football star signed a five-year contract with the New England Patriots in 2012 for a whopping $40 million before playing his last and final game with the NFL on January 20, 2013. Here are the details of his death.
Hernandez was found in his prison cell at approximately 3:05 A.M. by prison corrections officers at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center and was rushed to the UMass Leominster hospital.
He was pronounced dead an hour later at approximately 4:07 A.M.
Prison security guards found the ex-NFL star hanging from his bedsheet, which was tied to the bars of his window. Hernandez was in a two-person cell but was the only person who was currently assigned to that cell.
The state Department of Correction has stated that upon an initial search of the cell, no suicide note was found.
A spokesman for the state Department of Correction has confirmed that Hernandez was not on suicide watch because he did not display any signs of being suicidal.
Hernandez was born and raised in Connecticut. He lost his father at 16 years old and rose to football fame at the University of Florida until he was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010.
In 2015, Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder for the 2013 murder of his friend Odin Lloyd.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, which is the mandatory prison sentence for first-degree murder in the state of Massachusetts.
On June 17, 2013, Lloyd’s body was discovered in an industrial park just one mile from Hernandez’s house. His body had gunshot wounds to the chest and the back.
Just one day later, the police searched Hernandez’s home after obtaining evidence that Hernandez had completely destroyed his home security system.
On June 26, 2013, Hernandez was arrested and taken into police custody. Just 90 minutes later, the New England Patriots released him from the team, stating in a press release that they support the efforts of law enforcement and believed that the transaction was “simply the right thing to do.”
Hernandez was found guilty of murder on April 15, 2015. He was also charged with five firearm offenses.
In 2014, Hernandez was charged with two counts of murder for the 2012 double murder of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in a drive-by shooting outside of a Boston nightclub.
The trial for the double murders began on March 1, 2017. Hernandez was found not guilty and was acquitted of the murders on April 14, 2017.
Hernandez’s sports agent, Brian Murphy, has already begun questioning the death of his old client. “Absolutely no chance he took his own life,” Murphy wrote on Twitter, “Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.”
Hernandez leaves behind his long-time fiancé Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez and their 4-year-old daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez,