Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison cell

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2015 file photo, former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez attends a pre-trial hearing at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Hernandez is expected to appear in court Thursday, July 21, 2016, with new lawyers to defend him in the 2012 slayings of two men outside a Boston nightclub. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool, File)

MILFORD, Mass. (WCBD) – Former New England Patriot and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison Wednesday morning, according to Massachusetts prison officials. He was 27.

According to a statement from the Department of Correction, Hernandez was discovered hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m.

“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statement said. “Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.”

Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end, and he was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial – HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 4:07 a.m.

State Police are investigating and his family has been notified.

Hernandez’s suicide comes five days after he was acquitted of murdering two men in Boston in 2012. He was still serving a life without parole sentence for murdering Odin L. Lloyd in North Attleborough, Massachusetts in 2013.

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