Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Culture | By Kelly Harrison

Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison with Bible verse written across forehead

Former New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning.

Guards found Hernandez just after 3 a.m., Correction Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said.

Officials said they tried to revive Hernandez at the scene before taking him to UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster. It did, however, convict him of a single charge: unlawful possession of a gun.

Shortly after Hernandez received life sentence without possibility of parole for the murder of Odin Lloyd in April 2015, he was reportedly taken to MCI-Cedar Junction in MA, where he was kept separate from the rest of the inmate population for evaluation and to protect him from other inmates, according to TMZ.

Removing a conviction after the death of a high-profile defendant is not without precedent in recent state history.

Fallon said he's not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez and stressed that an investigation is ongoing.

Billy Kennedy, the attorney representing the victims' families, said Wednesday that the civil cases against Hernandez will move forward, despite the outcome of the criminal case and his subsequent death. They also found the cell door "jammed with various items". Hernandez was considered a promising athlete who had come from the University of Florida and grew up in Bristol, Conn.

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The team released him in June 2013, shortly after he was arrested for the Lloyd killing.

Baez added, "We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation". An autopsy of Hernandez would be conducted in Boston to determine the official cause and manner of his death, the Worcester County district attorney said.

Last Friday, Hernandez was acquitted in the deadly 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston. Many were searching for an explanation to the tragic end of a young man whose football skills at one point earned him a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the NFL's top franchise.

And Jose Baez isn't the only person that doesn't believe the reports coming out of the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass. Aaron's agent and longtime friend, Brian Murphy, also tweeted about the news, saying that there was "no chance" that Aaron would kill himself.

As the Associated Press reported, prosecutors accused Hernandez of opening fire on their auto because he felt disrespected when one of the men bumped into him and spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub.

January 9, 2015: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in Lloyd's killing. He was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.

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