Jailed ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison early Wednesday, just days after he was acquitted in a 2012 double murder case. Hernandez, 27, was found hanging from his cell window at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.
Authorities reportedly said that Hernandez used a bedsheet to hang himself in his single cell in a general population housing unit. The Massachusetts State Police is investigating his death.
“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,” a statement from the state’s Department of Correction said.
Hernandez was transported to UMass Leominster hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities said that Hernandez's family has been notified.
Last week, he was acquitted in the 2012 case, where he was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu, 29, and Safir Furtado, 28, who were shot as they sat in a car at a stoplight.
The former NFL player was serving a life without parole sentence for murdering Odin L. Lloyd in North Attleborough in 2013. The former Patriots tight end was convicted on first-degree murder and gun charges in 2015.
After his conviction, Hernandez was briefly held at Massachusetts Correction Institution-Cedar Junction in Walpole was later transferred to Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum-security facility. He was initially placed on suicide watch – a standard procedure followed for those who face life sentences.
During his time in prison, since 2013, Hernandez faced several accusations of jail fights with other members of the prison. Following the fights, Hernandez was placed into a “special management section.”