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Former New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez, who was just acquitted of a double murder days ago, but, was serving a life sentence for a prior murder conviction, was found dead in his jail cell early Wednesday morning, Massachusetts prison officials announced this morning.
Officials at the Souza-Baranowski state maximum security prison reported that they found Hernandez this morning hanging from a cell window in his single cell. He had used a bed sheet to fashion a noose. Hernandez was housed in a single cell in the general population in the prison. They reported finding no suicide note.
Prison officials and family say that they had received no indications that Hernandez was planning to take his life.
Hernadez’s lawyer, Brian Murphy, refutes that he had taken his own life, and said, “Chico was not a saint, but my family and I loved him and he would never take his own life.” Hernandez had fashioned a barricade by jamming various cell items against the door of his single cell and was found there alone this morning.
Hernandez was acquitted of the shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston on Friday. Prosecutors alleged that Hernandez shot the two as they sat in a vehicle outside of a Boston nightclub after one of the two spilled a drink on him earlier in the evening. That incident took place in July of 2012.
But, Hernandez was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Odin Lloyd, who was a semi-professional football player. Odin was dating Hernandez’s sister at the time of his death in June of 2013.
Lloyd’s body was located in an industrial park area of North Attleborough near Hernandez’s home. Investigators found him with multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest. Hernandez attempted to cover up the crime by destroying his surveillance system and cell phone and called in cleaners prior to the police investigation of his home.
The NFL player had also been implicated in a 2007 double shooting in Gainesville and a 2013 non-fatal shooting of his friend Alex Bradley in 2013.
Hernandez, who had been picked up by the New England Patriots as the 15th pick in the fourth round in 2010, was released from the team 90 minutes after his arrest for Lloyd’s murder. He was also barred from entering Gillette Stadium.