He killed himself on the day the Patriots will visit the White House to commemorate their Super Bowl victory.
Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez, 27, hanged himself in his prison cell early Wednesday morning while serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder charge at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, MA.
He committed suicide on the day his former team will visit the White House to commemorate their Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons in February.
The suicide comes five days after a jury found Hernandez not guilty for the 2012 murders of two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
But in 2015, a jury found Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder for the death of Odin Lloyd. The judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Guards discovered Hernandez at 3AM and transported his body to UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon explained that Hernandez had “a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison.”
Fallon stated that “Hernandez tried to block the cell door from inside by jamming the door with various items.” He then used a bed sheet to hang himself “that he attached to a cell window.”
A Patriots spokesman told ESPN that he does not believe the team “will be commenting today” on Hernandez’s death.
The team cut Hernandez in 2013 when police arrested him.
Hernandez leaves behind his wife Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez and a four-year-old daughter.
TV and social media lit up when news broke of Hernandez’s suicide. In the clip above, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota called the suicide tragic while former NFL player Cory Wire described Hernandez as brethren:
Coy Wire: I have the chills. This is the NFL brethren. He lost his way. He was a guy in the locker rooms. His life took a turn for the worse. Hearing this news is shocking and stunning.
Alisyn Camerota: Even somebody who is not a sports follower. It is just the latest tragic turn in the case. Just so tragic. Up and coming star as you can tell us. Then the fact something weird and mysterious happened that night with his friend. And nobody could figure out what that beef was about.
But Chris Cuomo became the voice of reason. Yes, Cuomo reminded Camerota and Wire what’s important:
To be clear, the victims in the story of Aaron Hernandez are the family of Odin Lloyd. And Odin Lloyd himself. A cold-blooded murder. That judge wanted to see Hernandez in the jail cell for rest of his life. Let’s not forget the victims.
Hernandez’s agent doesn’t believe the football player took his life:
Absolutely no chance he took his own life. Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.
— Brian Murphy (@A1Murph) April 19, 2017
Hernandez’s lawyer Jose Baez also doesn’t think Hernandez committed suicide. From TMZ Sports:
We’ve learned attorney Jose Baez — who just got a not guilty verdict for Aaron last week in the double murder case — has launched an investigation on behalf of Hernandez’ family and they are not buying the suicide story.
We’re told Baez believes this could be a murder either by inmates or the folks who run the prison.
Baez says the family is “devastated” and does not believe Aaron was in a frame of mind to take his life.