Aaron Hernandez, the ex-NFL star and convicted killer, committed suicide inside his Massachusetts prison cell early Wednesday, officials said.
He was found hanging from a bed sheet within his single cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, the state’s Department of Corrections said in a statement.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and had just been acquitted of a separate double murder days ago.
Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots, from 2010 to 2012. The Patriots had signed him for five years with a $40 million contract, the Associated Press reported. Hernandez was considered a promising athlete. The untimely death of his father ( in 2006) was a turning point in the young athlete’s life, friends and former teammates told the newspaper.
The professional football player’s career came crashing down in the summer of 2013 when he was arrested on charges of murder and gun possession and was subsequently cut from the Patriots. He was indicted that August in the shooting death of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. In 2015, Hernandez was convicted of murder in the slaying and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Hernandez was also accused of fatally shooting two men in Boston in 2012 during a nightclub brawl. Prosecutors had said Hernandez opened fire on Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado because they bumped into him at the club, causing him to spill his drink.
Hernandez was charged and tried in the double murders in 2014 and was acquitted of murder in the case last Friday.
Hernandez committed suicide by hanging himself from a bed sheet that he tied to his cell window, prison officials said. Hernandez was discovered hanging at about 3 a.m. local time and was pronounced dead about an hour later. Massachusetts State Police is investigating his death.