Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez found dead in jail cell

Aaron Hernandez

BOSTON, Mass. – Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison, according to jail officials.

Hernandez was found unresponsive inside his jail cell, according to the Massachusetts Department of Correction. Officials said corrections officers found Hernandez had hanged himself in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correction Center around 3:05 a.m. Wednesday.

Emergency responders tried to save Hernandez, and he was transported to UMASS Leominster and pronounced dead about an hour later. The agency said Hernandez was housed in a single cell in a general population housing unit. He attached a bed sheet to the cell window to hang himself, investigators said.

He’d also tried to block the door from the inside by jamming it with “various items.” Massachusetts State Police are investigating.

Hernandez, 27, played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. The team released him in 2013 after he was arrested in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence without parole in connection with Lloyd’s murder.

He was acquitted last week in a double murder case. The jury deliberated for six days before finding him not guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. He was found guilty on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm in that case, however, and sentenced to additional prison time.