Aaron Hernandez, age 27, was pronounced dead shortly after 4:00 am (est) at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts.
The former New England Patriots tight end, was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, was found hanging by his neck from a bed sheet in his jail cell.
The news of Hernandez's death comes on the same day his former team is scheduled to visit with President Donald Trump at the White House as part of their celebration for winning Super Bowl 51. Team spokesman, Stacey James, wrote an email to the media stating: “We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.’’
The news also comes just four days after Hernandez was found not guilty of a separate double homicide charge which took place in 2012.
The timing of his suicide is certainly peculiar, as it seemed his legal team was ready to appeal the verdict from the Odin Lloyd murder trial, since he was acquitted of the double homicide charge.
Was suicide his attempt to avoid a life sentence? The daunting realization he was going to spend the rest of his days in prison had just become too overwhelming? If that was the reasoning, why did he wait this long? He was found guilty of Lloyd's murder in 2015.
Or did the weight of taking another man's life become too much of a burden to bear?
There was no suicide note and a spokesman from the Department of Corrections indicated Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit if there was any reason to believe he was at risk of harming himself. The same spokesman also said they are investigating the suicide.