BOSTON, U.S. - After being acquitted of a double murder just a few days back, Massachusetts prisons officials said that the former NFL star Aaron Hernandez died after hanging himself in his prison cell.
Department of Correction spokesman and Assistant deputy commissioner of communications Christopher Fallon said in a statement, that 27-year-old Hernandez was found by the guards in an unresponsive state in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.
The former New England Patriots tight end was subsequently taken to the UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, where he was declared dead about an hour later.
Fallon said that Hernandez, who was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison, hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window.
Fallon added that Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.
Adding that he's not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez.
Fallon said that an investigation is ongoing and that officials had no clue that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life.
He said that if there was a concern about his well-being, Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit.
On Friday, Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.
Hernandez was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins.
Hernandez was tried but acquitted in the killing of de Abreu and Furtado.
Prosecutors had contended that the duo was shot dead after one of the men accidentally spilled a drink on Hernandez in a Boston nightclub.
Hernandez was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the case, but the jury convicted him of unlawful possession of a gun, and the judge sentenced him to an additional four to five years in prison - even as the star continued to serve his existing life sentence.
Massachusetts State Police said that investigations were ongoing and that officers were on the scene.
Hernandez, who played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012, incidentally was reported dead the same day the Patriots make their visit to the White House to mark their Super Bowl win.