Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison during the wee hours of Wednesday morning. He was 27.
According to the Boston Globe, the former NFL star tight end's hung body was found in his cell at about 3:05 a.m. today at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. He was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. at the Umass Memorial in Leominster, Mass. An investigation is continuing and Hernandez's family has been notified.
"Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit," a statement to the newspaper said. "Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet 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."
The timing of Hernandez's shocking suicide seems odd, considering he was just found not guilty in his double-murder trial last Thursday. When the verdict was read, Hernandez reportedly turned to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, and mouthed, "I love you." Earlier last week, he smiled at his toddler daughter, who also made an appearance in court.
However, last week's acquittal was separate from the life in prison without the possibility of parole that Hernandez was already serving after being found guilty two years ago of the 2013 first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd, a former semi-pro football player. Lloyd, 27, was dating the sister of Jenkins. His body was discovered by investigators in a North Attleborough, Mass., industrial park, riddled with gunshot wounds.
But the former New England Patriots' tight end's lawyer, Jose Baez, told TMZ Sports on Friday that there's a "strong likelihood" of getting that previous murder conviction overturned via a successful appeal, making the timing of Hernandez's suicide that much more stunning.
In August 2012, Hernandez had signed a five-year contract extension worth a max value of $40 million with the Patriots.
Ironically, the Patriots are slated to visit Donald Trump at the White House today in honor of their Super Bowl LI win.
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)