In a tragic development, Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end convicted of murder, was found dead early Wednesday of an apparent suicide inside his cell at a Massachusetts prison, a state correction official said.
Hernandez, 27, had been found not guilty last Friday of a 2012 drive-by shooting in Boston. He was already spending a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a 2015 first-degree murder conviction in the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who had been dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée. Hernandez appealed that verdict.
Correction officers discovered Hernandez hanged by a bed sheet attached to his cell window at about 3:05 a.m., said Christopher M. Fallon, assistant deputy commissioner of communications for the state Department of Correction. The former football star had attempted to "block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items," Fallon said in a statement.
"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.
"Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing. 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."
As NBC reports, officers attempted life-saving techniques and transported him from the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley to a local hospital, but he was declared dead about an hour later.