Officials in Massachusetts have confirmed that former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez committed suicide while in prison. He was 27 years old.
The former tight end hanged himself using a bed sheet attached to a window in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center. His body was discovered at 3:05 a.m. today, April 19, at which point lifesaving techniques were utilized in an effort to save him, authorities confirmed. He was then transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a little more than an hour later at 4:07 a.m.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In a statement, law enforcement officials said that no suicide note was found with the body, adding that Aaron didn’t display any behaviors that would land him on suicide watch and was not considered at risk.
The University of Florida alum was serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd, who dated the sister of Aaron’s fiancée.
Aaron’s fiancée and daughter. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Prior to his conviction, he was charged with two counts of murder in the July 2012 deaths of two men killed outside a Boston club in a drive-by shooting — but just last week, he was found not guilty of those two counts, though he was found guilty for illegal possession of a firearm.
Following news of his death, Aaron's lawyer Jose Baez revealed that his passing came as a surprise to those closest to him, adding that they are requesting the state investigate the situation thoroughly.
Aaron on April 12 after hearing the not guilty verdict. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“We are shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death. There were no conversations or correspondences from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated this scenario was a possibility,” the infamous lawyer told TMZ. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.”
Aaron is survived by his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, and their four-year-old daughter Avielle.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.