Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder and was acquitted last week in a 2012 double slaying, has committed suicide in prison.
Corrections officers found Hernandez hanging in his cell at 3:05 a.m. at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.
Hernandez, 27, was in a single cell in a general population housing unit, officials said.
He hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. He also tried to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.
Lifesaving techniques were attempted on Hernandez. He was taken to UMASS Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m., according to Christopher M. Fallon, of the Massachusetts Department of Correction.
Fallon said he's not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez.
He said that officials had no concern that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life, and if there was a concern about his well-being, Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit.
"This is a shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families," District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn said.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
A jury last week found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. Before his acquittal, Hernandez on Wednesday was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fiancée Shayanna Jenkins.
Attorney Jose Baez, who represented Hernandez during the double murder trial, said he was shocked at the news of his client’s death.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” Baez said in a statement. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.”
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