The tragic story of Aaron Hernandez came to a gruesome end early Wednesday morning, when he committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell.
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Authorities at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., found Hernandez hung in his cell at 3:05 a.m. The former Patriots tight end was rushed to UMASS Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. A statement from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said Hernandez had hanged himself using a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window, and had attempted to block entrance to his cell by "jamming the door with various items".
Officials said Hernandez left no suicide note.
Hernandez was serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Just last Friday, he was acquitted on a double-murder charge after being accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012. Much of the evidence against Hernandez in that case was the testimony of former friend Alexander Bradley, a convicted felon whom Hernandez allegedly shot through the eye in February 2013 in an attempt to silence him about the murders of de Abreu and Furtado.
Hernandez -- whose behavior and drug issues at the University of Florida caused him to drop to the fourth round of the NFL draft, where he was selected by New England -- played for the Patriots from 2010 through 2012, and signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension prior to the 2012 season. The team released him in June 2013, hours after he was arrested and charged with Lloyd's killing.
New England Patriots
The Patriots -- who are visiting the White House today to celebrate their Super Bowl LI championship -- said they would have no comment on the suicide.
Hernandez, 27, is survived by a 4-year-old daughter, Avielle; his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez; his mother, and an older brother.
The DOC statement, via mmqb.si.com's Albert Breer: