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NFL's Aaron Hernandez kills himself in prison



  • Aaron Hernandez was found hanging in his prison cell on Wednesday morning
  • Hernandez, 27, was in a single cell unit at a prison in Shirley, Massachusetts 
  • The Department of Corrections said he tried to block his door by jamming it 
  • The 27-year-old's death comes five days after he was acquitted of two murders
  • Hernandez was already serving life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd
  • The Patriots are visiting the White House on Wednesday to mark their Super Bowl victory

By Kelly Mclaughlin and Chris Spargo For Dailymail.com

Published: 11:39 BST, 19 April 2017 | Updated: 13:08 BST, 19 April 2017

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Disgraced NFL star Aaron Hernandez has committed suicide just days after he was acquitted of a 2012 double murder, and on the same day that his former teammates are scheduled to be honored at the White House for their recent Super Bowl win.

The convicted killer's death is a final slap to the team that gave him so much, making him a millionaire and one of the brightest stars in the NFL after he was selected by Bill Belichick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

That success and fame mattered little however to Hernandez, whose life was instead fueled by vengeance and revenge. 

The former tight end and father of a four-year-old daughter was found hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts.

He did not leave a note. 

Hernandez, 27, was already serving life in prison without parole for the shooting death of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd in 2013.  

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Police found the former NFL star hanging in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning
Police found the former NFL star hanging in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning

Police found the former NFL star hanging in his cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning

Hernandez, 27, who was already serving a life sentence for murder, was cleared Friday of killing two other men in Boston in 2012
Hernandez, 27, who was already serving a life sentence for murder, was cleared Friday of killing two other men in Boston in 2012
The former New England Patriots star was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club
The former New England Patriots star was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club

Hernandez, 27, who was already serving a life sentence for murder, was cleared Friday of killing two other men in Boston in 2012

Christopher Fallon, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, sent out a message after Hernandez's death on Wednesday. 

'On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital,' said Fallon.

'Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. 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. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.'

A spokesperson for the Patriots said that the team would not be commenting on Hernandez's death at this time.

Reports suggest that Hernandez had a violent record in prison, including many fights with other inmates, but he has never attempted suicide. 

His fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and their four-year-old daughter attended court during jury deliberations, and Hernandez was seen blowing them kisses when he was cleared of the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. 

The football star was reduced to tears in that moment when a jury declared him not guilty in the death of the two men, who the prosecution had argued were murdere dby hernenadez for spilling a drink on the football star. 

Hernandez was hugged by defense attorney Ronald Sullivan as he was found not guilty of the drive-by shooting in Boston
Hernandez was hugged by defense attorney Ronald Sullivan as he was found not guilty of the drive-by shooting in Boston

Hernandez was hugged by defense attorney Ronald Sullivan as he was found not guilty of the drive-by shooting in Boston

A visibly emotional Hernandez was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club
A visibly emotional Hernandez was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club

A visibly emotional Hernandez was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club

A visibly emotional Hernandez broke down in tears in the courtroom after hearing the verdict
A visibly emotional Hernandez broke down in tears in the courtroom after hearing the verdict
There had been 40 hours of deliberation
There had been 40 hours of deliberation

A visibly emotional Hernandez broke down in tears in the courtroom after hearing the verdict after 40 hours of deliberation 

Hernandez, center, is hugged by Ronald Sullivan after being found not guilty of murder
Hernandez, center, is hugged by Ronald Sullivan after being found not guilty of murder

Hernandez, center, is hugged by Ronald Sullivan after being found not guilty of murder

Massachusetts State Police are investigating the incident, and his family has been notified. 

Hernandez, a Connecticut native, was cleared on Friday of killing two men in Boston in 2012.

He was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in a drive-by shooting in July 2012 in Boston's South End after an altercation outside a night club.

He had pleaded not guilty in the Massachusetts trial.

On Friday, the jury acquitted Hernandez on seven of eight charges after deliberating for 37 hours. He was convicted only on an illegal firearms charge.

The other charges against Hernandez included armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Hernandez was overcome with emotion as the verdict was read, moving his head from side to side, wiping his eyes and weeping.

Safiro Furtado
Safiro Furtado
Daniel de Abreu
Daniel de Abreu

Victims: Hernandez was accused of shooting dead Safiro Furtado (left) and Daniel de Abreu (right) at a Boston nightclub in 2012 

Hernandez is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, pictured on the screen in the courtroom in January 2015 
Hernandez is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, pictured on the screen in the courtroom in January 2015 

Hernandez is already serving a life sentence in the 2013 killing of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd, pictured on the screen in the courtroom in January 2015 

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said: 'We're disappointed. The jury just didn't see it our way.'

The decision came almost exactly two years after the former New England Patriots tight end was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player in June 2013.

The 2015 conviction cemented a spectacular fall from grace for Hernandez, who once had a $40million, five-year contract with the Patriots.

The team dropped Hernandez just hours after his arrest on June 26, 2013, nine days after Lloyd was found dead. 

Hernandez's death comes on the same day that his former team, the New England Patriots will visit President Donald Trump in the White House. 

His fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and young daughter attended court during jury deliberations
His fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and young daughter attended court during jury deliberations

His fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, and young daughter attended court during jury deliberations

He was seen blowing his fiancee and daughter kisses during jury deliberations
He was seen blowing his fiancee and daughter kisses during jury deliberations

He was seen blowing his fiancee and daughter kisses during jury deliberations

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, center,  the fiancee of the former New England Patriots tight end is comforted as she reacts to the double murder acquittal at Suffolk Superior Court Friday
Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, center,  the fiancee of the former New England Patriots tight end is comforted as she reacts to the double murder acquittal at Suffolk Superior Court Friday

Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, center, the fiancee of the former New England Patriots tight end is comforted as she reacts to the double murder acquittal at Suffolk Superior Court Friday

The team is the first championship team - after winning the Super Bowl - that Trump will host in Washington, DC.

Six players will not attend the visit: LeGarrette Blount, Alan Branch, Dont'a Hightower, Chris Long and Martellus Bennett have said they won't be attending.

All but Hightower have cited political reasons for not attending the event.

In 2015, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady skipped the White House visit with then-President Barack Obama, citing a family commitment. 

TIMELINE IN AARON HERNANDEZ'S CASE: 

July 16, 2012: Two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, are shot to death in their car as they wait at a red light in Boston's South End neighborhood.

Aug. 27, 2012: Hernandez signs a five-year, $40million contract with the New England Patriots.

February 2013: An associate, Alexander Bradley, is shot in the face in Florida. Bradley files a lawsuit alleging that Hernandez shot him after they argued at a strip club.

June 17, 2013: The body of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, is found about a mile from Hernandez's mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.

June 26, 2013: Hernandez is arrested on a murder charge in Lloyd's slaying and later pleads not guilty. The Patriots release him hours after his arrest.

May 15, 2014: Hernandez is indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the shootings of de Abreu and Furtado.

May 28, 2014: Hernandez pleads not guilty to charges in connection with the deaths of de Abreu and Furtado.

Jan. 9, 2015: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in Lloyd's killing. 

April 15, 2015: Hernandez is convicted of first-degree murder; carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Feb. 14, 2017: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. 

April 7, 2017: The jury begins deliberating.

April 14, 2017: Hernandez acquitted of murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. 

April 19, 2017: Hernandez is found dead in his single-unit jail cell after hanging himself with a bed sheet. 

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