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Ex-New England Patriots Star Aaron Hernandez Dead After Hanging Self in Cell

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Aaron Hernandez Acquitted of Murder Charges
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (Photo by George Rizer for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez has died after hanging himself with bedsheets in a Massachusetts prison, according to the Associated Press. Hernandez was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player who had been dating his fiancée’s sister.

Guards found Hernandez in his cell, which he tried to block from the inside, at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon reportedly said in a statement. The 27-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital an hour later.

Fallon reportedly said there was no concern about his well-being, and if officials thought Hernandez was planning on taking his own life, he would have been transferred to a mental health unit. Hernandez had just been acquitted in the 2012 Boston shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.

The former New England Patriots tight end leaves behind a four-year-old daughter, who he was seen blowing kisses to in court just before his acquittal last week.