Aaron Hernandez, ex-NFL player, kills himself in prison
Hernandez had been acquitted of a drive-by double murder last week
Former NFL footballer Aaron Hernandez has been found dead in his cell in Massachusetts, officials say.
Hernandez hanged himself at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center and was pronounced dead later at hospital.
The former New England Patriots tight end, 27, was serving a life sentence for killing a man who was dating his fiancee’s sister.
Last week he was acquitted of a drive-by double murder prosecutors said began over an argument about a spilled drink.
Hernandez had cried in court as that verdict was read, saying he was “very happy”.
His death comes on the day members of his former team visit President Donald Trump at the White House to be commended for their Super Bowl victory over Atlanta in February.
Massachusetts Department of Correction said Hernandez had tried to block the door to his single cell before hanging himself.
Lifesaving techniques were performed on Hernandez and he was taken to UMASS Leominster hospital where he was pronounced dead at 04:07 local time (08:07 GMT).
Hernandez was considered one of the top tight ends playing the game
State police are on the scene and his next of kin have been notified, officials said.
State Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement that he was not aware a suicide note had been written and that officials had not been concerned that Hernandez would take his life.
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Although Hernandez was acquitted of the double murder last week, he was found guilty of illegally possessing a firearm and the judge added five years to his sentence.
The rise and fall of Aaron Hernandez
June 2010: The tight end is drafted into the NFL from University of Florida and signs a four-year contract with the New England Patriots
January 2012: Hernandez sets a career best with 138 receiving yards in a victory over the Buffalo Bills
July 2012: Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado are shot dead in Boston
August 2012: Hernandez signs a five-year, $40m contract with the Patriots
February 2013: Alexander Bradley files a lawsuit claiming Hernandez shot him in the face after a dispute at a Florida strip club
June 2013: Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who dated the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee, is found dead near Hernandez’s home. He is arrested for the murder and dropped by the Patriots
May 2014: Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder in connection with Mr de Abreu and Mr Furtado’s killings
April 2015: He is convicted of killing Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison
April 2017: The former footballer is acquitted of the 2012 killings of Mr de Abreu and Mr Furtado. But five days later, he commits suicide
Hernandez had been accused of the fatal shooting of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a Boston nightclub in 2012, one month before he signed a $40m (£32m) contract extension with the Patriots.
Hernandez had been found guilty in April 2015 of the first-degree murder of his friend, another American footballer, the semi-professional Odin Lloyd, in 2013.
Lloyd’s body was found with six bullet wounds less than a mile from Hernandez’s home.
Within hours of his arrest for the 2013 shooting, the Patriots sacked Hernandez, considered one of the top tight ends playing the game.
Hernandez was given a life sentence without parole.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez runs into the end zone for a second quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, 01 January 2012 Image copyright EPA
Aaron Hernandez, 10 April 2015Image copyright REUTERS
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