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Former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez commits suicide in jail cell


April 19. 2017 7:50AM
Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez sits during his murder trial in Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River, Mass. in April, 2015. (REUTERS/Steven Senne/Pool/File Photo)

BOSTON — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in the jail cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, just days after being acquitted of a second double-murder charge, state prison officials said on Wednesday.

Hernandez, 27, was a rising star in the National Football League when he was arrested in June 2013 and accused of murdering an acquaintance near his Massachusetts home. He was convicted of that killing and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 but on Friday was found not guilty of a 2012 double murder.

Staff at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., found Hernandez hanging in his prison cell at 3:05 a.m. and he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

"Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window," the state corrections commission said in a statement. "Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items."

An attorney for Hernandez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Crime, law and justice Patriots/NFL

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