Aaron Hernandez, the former tight end with the New England Patriots, who was in prison serving a term of life for murder, hanged himself early Wednesday inside his prison cell, said officials from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections.
Hernandez, who was 27, was found by Souza Baranowski Correctional Center officers at 3:05 a.m. hanging from his bedsheet. Officers used lifesaving techniques in attempt to save the former NFL Pro Bowler. He was transported to a nearby hospital where medical personnel pronounced him dead.
A member of the Department of Corrections in Massachusetts said that Hernandez was inside a single cell that was in the general population, had attached his sheet to the cell window and attempted to block the door through jamming it with several objects.
Hernandez was convicted of a murder that took place only one year after he had signed a contract extension of seven years for $40 million with New England that included a signing bonus of $12.5 million.
He was picked by New England in the fourth round of the draft after concerns surfaced of his maturity as well as with the people he associated with.
Urban Meyer coached Hernandez at the University of Florida and told New England head coach Bill Belichick that Hernandez had to be surrounded with the right people.
He added that he told Belichick he had to keep a close eye on Hernandez, but unfortunately Meyer said players cannot be locked up and away from all their friends.
The murder conviction of Hernandez was going through an automatic review and last Friday he was acquitted of a double murder that he had been charged with but was convicted of gun possession.
It is not clear if Hernandez left any note, but some indication of his frame of mine could be seen in letters he has sent since being behind bars. In one, Hernandez wrote about different suicide methods.
Hernandez often wrote about how close he was to quarterback Tom Brady and hoped for the best for his former team and teammates. He also said he was close to Julian Edelman, Alan Branch and tight end Rob Gronkowski who he called the best tight end to ever play football.
His affection was far less for Robert Kraft the team owner who he said had told him he loved him but showed that was not true by what he has said in the media.