Aaron Hernandez, age 27, a former Patriots tight end, on early Wednesday morning hanged himself inside his jail cell and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
According to a Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer, they found Hernandez who hanged himself in his cell room after 3 a.m. He was rushed to the UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster but attempts to revive him failed. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
In a statement by the corrections center, "Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet 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."
Hernandez starred at the University of Florida and from 2010-2012, he played tight end for the New England Patriots, catching 18 touchdown passes.
His death occurred less than a week after he was deemed not guilty in a double-murder trial that happened in 2012, involving the murder of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu in Boston. The verdict came almost two years after Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Odin Lloyd in June 2013, with which he faced a sentence of life in prison without parole.
On June 17, 2013 midnight, Odin Lloyd was fatally shot six times in a deserted industrial park close to Hernandez's home in North Attleborough. Odin Lloyd was a semipro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. Hernandez was charged with murder nine days after, and the Patriots let him go. He was found guilty in April 2015 and sentenced to a life behind bars without parole.
Aside from first-degree murder (in which the consequence was life sentence in prison without parole), he was found guilty for only one of the eight counts: illegal possession of a firearm, and as a result of this, he was sentenced to another four to five years in prison. He was also accused of witness intimidation and shooting a witness, Alexander Bradley, in the face in an attempt to silence him.
Hernandez's death comes the same day the Patriots visited the White House to commemorate their February Super Bowl win.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn who prosecuted the case said, "This is a shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families."
Patriots coach Bill Belichick recently played a word association game during a media interview, and when Hernandez's name came up, he responded by saying, "tragedy."