Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who was just days ago acquitted of double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell early Wednesday morning, Massachusetts prison officials said.
Guards found the 27-year-old unresponsive in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3:05 a.m, after hanging himself with a bed sheet attached to a window cell, the Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement provided to The Boston Globe.
Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon added.
Acquittal aside, Hernandez was serving life without the possibility of parole after being sentenced in 2015 for killing Odin L. Lloyd in an industrial park near the football player’s million dollar North Attleborough estate in 2013.
In May of 2014, Hernandez was charged with two murder counts following the deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu, two men who were killed in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in July 2012. The jury in that case found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder but did convict him of unlawful possession of a gun, which added four to five years in prison, completely separate from his existing life sentence.
Today also marks the day that some of his former teammates are set to be honored at the White House after winning Super Bowl 51.
Hernandez grew up in Connecticut and played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012, including a Super Bowl appearance. The team released him in June 2013, shortly after he was arrested for suspicion of killing Lloyd.
Though Hernandez left the NFL unceremoniously, plenty of his former opponents and celebrities took to Twitter to offer their condolences.
SOURCE: CNN, Twitter