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Date Posted: Wednesday, April 19, 07:19:54am
In reply to: Breaking 's message, "Aaron Hernandez kills himself in prison" on Wednesday, April 19, 03:52:26am

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Convicted killer and former New England Patriots star Aaron J. Hernandez hanged himself inside his cell at the state’s maximum security prison in Shirley early Wednesday, in an apparent suicide five days after he was acquitted of two additional murders.

Hernandez, 27, was serving life without parole for killing Odin L. Lloyd in an industrial park near the football player’s million dollar North Attleborough home in 2013.


The arc of his life was short, and steep. He reached the highest levels of fortune and acclaim in professional sports, only to throw it all away by shooting Lloyd, who had been his friend.

Hernandez apparently took his own life on the day many of his former teammates will be honored at the White House for winning Super Bowl 51 without him.

The former All-Pro tight end, a one-time rising National Football League star with a $40 million contract, was hanging from a bedsheet attached to bars on the window of the cell in Unit G-2 when corrections officers found him around 3:05 a.m., the state Department of Correction said in a statement.


Hernandez was rushed to UMass Leominster. He was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m., the DOC said. The state medical examiner’s office has since taken custody of his body, the DOC said. An investigation will be overseen by Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy at its Boston facility, according to Early’s office.


DOC spokesman Christopher Fallon said there was no suicide note found during the initial search of the two-man cell to which Hernandez was assigned alone. He was not on a suicide watch because he had not signaled he was at risk, Fallon said.

“If he had made any kind of statement, he would have not been in that unit,’’ Fallon said.

Hernandez is the 27th recorded suicide at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center since 2010 and the second this year, according to DOC records.

A football prodigy from Connecticut who lost his father when he was 16 years old, Hernandez starred at the University of Florida before being drafted by the Patriots in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. He quickly established himself in the upper tier of tight ends in the NFL.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury acquitted Hernandez April 14 of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in July 2012. They were shot to death in the South End.

A person with direct knowledge who spoke on condition of anonymity said that while many observers of Hernandez’s recent trial remarked on his stoic demeanor, within prison walls he was insecure and clung to gang members for approval.

He was not aloof with other inmates, this person said. Instead, he appeared eager to be “one of the boys.” He was always sitting and laughing or playing basketball with gang members.

Hernandez was on suicide watch immediately after he was convicted in 2015 of killing Lloyd, the person said.

Hernandez was represented at his most recent trial by top defense lawyers, including Jose Baez and Ronald Sullivan, a Harvard Law School professor. They could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday.

Both lawyers have said, however, that they believed the acquittal meant that Hernandez was moving one more step towards being reunited with his family — the sole barrier being his conviction for murdering Lloyd, which was to be automatically reviewed by the state’s highest court.

Baez on Tuesday tweeted a link to a long ESPN story in which he expressed confidence that he would successfully overturn Hernandez’s Bristol County Superior Court conviction.

“I think there are plenty of flaws in that conviction,” he told ESPN. “If they are exposed properly, [Hernandez] certainly can and should get a new trial.” Baez described his client as “one step closer to being reunited with his family.”

After the verdict last week, Hernandez turned in court toward Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, his longtime fiancee and the mother of his daughter, and said, “I love you.

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I heard virtually nothing about this on the cable news, until the Patriots were visiting the White House & a reporter mentione that "a former Patriots player" had killed himself (NT)I was amazed to find out it was Hernandez!Wednesday, April 19, 11:47:22am


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