According to the New York Post, The Boston Globe and several news outlets, former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez was found in his prison cell dead of suicide.
Per Terrance Cullen of the NY Post, the former tight end, 27, was found hanging in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Mass., according to the state’s Department of Correction.
“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the department said in a statement. “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.”
Hernandez was moved to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The news of Hernandez’s death comes less than a week after he was found not guilty of two counts of murder on Friday in the killing of two men in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston nightclub in July 2012.
The former NFL star faced eight counts in all, including two of murder and three of armed assault. He also faced a charge of witness intimidation for allegedly shooting his former friend in the face in an attempt to silence him.
Hernandez, who was already serving a life sentence for murder, was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm.
In 2013 Hernandez, who was enjoying a solid career with the Patriots, was arrested and charged with the murder of Odin Loyd, of which he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015, though he has appealed for a new trial in that case.
Hernandez was a standout player at the University of Florida under head coach Urban Meyer. He won the John Mackey Award in 2009 as the nation’s top tight end. He was also a First-team All-American
First-team All-SEC player. He helped the Gators win the BCS National Championship that years as well as the SEC Championship in 2008. He as a fourth-round pick of the Patriots in 2010 and finished his career with 175 catches for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns per NFL.com.