Ex-NFL star found dead in­side his prison cell

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS -

For­mer NFL star Aaron Her­nan­dez hanged him­self in the prison cell where he was serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der, of­fi­cials said Wed­nes­day, the same day his ex-team­mates on the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots vis­ited the White House to mark their Su­per Bowl vic­tory.

His death came just days af­ter the 27-year-old ath­lete was ac­quit­ted in a sec­ond mur­der case.

Guards found Her­nan­dez just af­ter 3 a.m., Cor­rec­tion Depart­ment spokesman Christo­pher Fal­lon said. The one­time tight end was taken to a hos­pi­tal and pro­nounced dead about an hour later.

Her­nan­dez had been housed in a sin­gle cell in a gen­eral pop­u­la­tion unit at the max­i­mum-se­cu­rity state prison in Shirley. He tried to jam the cell door to pre­vent guards from open­ing it and hanged him­self with a bed­sheet tied to a win­dow, Fal­lon said.

Fal­lon said he was not aware of any sui­cide note. He said of­fi­cials had no rea­son to be­lieve Her­nan­dez might take his life, and if they had had any such wor­ries, he would have been trans­ferred to a men­tal health unit.

The Worces­ter County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice and the Cor­rec­tion Depart­ment are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Her­nan­dez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, said he will con­duct his own in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“There were no con­ver­sa­tions or cor­re­spon­dence from Aaron to his fam­ily or le­gal team that would have in­di­cated any­thing like this was pos­si­ble,” he said in For­mer NFL star Aaron Her­nan­dez hanged him­self in the prison cell where he was serv­ing a life sen­tence for mur­der, of­fi­cials said.

a state­ment.

“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.”

The Pa­tri­ots had no im­me­di­ate com­ment.

Her­nan­dez helped the Univer­sity of Florida win the 2008 NCAA cham­pi­onship, but he dropped to the fourth round of the NFL draft be­cause of his be­hav­iour in col­lege, where he failed a drug test, he was ac­cused of punch­ing a bar em­ployee, and his name came up in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a shoot­ing.

He was a pro­duc­tive tight end

for the Pa­tri­ots for three sea­sons, catch­ing 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touch­downs in his sec­ond year to help the team reach the Su­per Bowl. In 2012, he signed a five-year, $40 mil­lion con­tract ex­ten­sion.

But the team re­leased him in 2013 af­ter he was ar­rested in the killing of Odin Lloyd, a semipro­fes­sional foot­ball player who was dat­ing the sis­ter of Her­nan­dez’s fi­ancee. He was con­victed and sen­tenced to life with­out pa­role.

Last Fri­day, Her­nan­dez was ac­quit­ted in the deadly 2012 drive-by shoot­ings of two men in Bos­ton. Prose­cu­tors said he gunned them down af­ter one of them ac­ci­den­tally spilled a drink on him in a night­club.

AP PHOTO

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