Officials in Massachusetts have placed former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez on suicide watch after his conviction Wednesday for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a report said. The former NFL tight end received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hernandez will be monitored by prison officials and isolated from other inmates, TMZ Sports reported. Famous prisoners are often separated from a correctional facility’s general population for their own safety.
Authorities have not publicly specified how long Hernandez will remain on suicide watch, or if the move was triggered by a specific behavior. But prisoners who receive life sentences are often subject to such monitoring, TMZ Sports noted. Hernandez will be held at Massachusetts Correctional Institution-Cedar Junction in Walpole, Massachusetts, until his eventual transfer to Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, his permanent prison in Shirley, Massachusetts.
A grand jury convicted Hernandez on first-degree murder and various gun charges in connection with the 2013 shooting death of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player and landscaper, the Associated Press reported. Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, identified as Hernandez’s associates, face separate charges related to Lloyd’s death.
State attorneys said Hernandez drove Lloyd to a North Attleborough, Massachusetts, industrial park and fatally shot him six times with a .45-caliber Glock handgun. The defense argued Hernandez was merely a bystander to the crime and that Ortiz and Wallace carried out the killing during an episode fueled by phencyclidine, the drug more commonly known as PCP or angel dust.
The case against Hernandez was mostly circumstantial, as authorities failed to present the murder weapon, an eyewitness or a clear motive for Hernandez’s actions. Police used surveillance footage, forensic evidence and cell phone records to link Hernandez to the crime.
Hernandez signed a $40 million contract extension with the Patriots roughly one year before Lloyd was killed. The Patriots released Hernandez in June 2013, days after his arrest for Lloyd’s murder.