Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was a rising star in New England, died after hanging himself in his prison cell early Wednesday, Massachusetts prisons officials said.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder.
Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement that Hernandez was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m.
“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statement said. “Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”
He was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.
The 27-year-old was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison. He hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window, Fallon said.
Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said. The spokesmen said he was not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez.
The ex-Patriot 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 fiancee 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.