Fallen NFL star found dead in jail

 

Hernandez cleared of murders0:25

NFL: Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez is cleared of committing a double-murder, but remains in jail with a life sentence relating to a different murder trial

Former New England Patriot star Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell on Wednesday. Picture: AFP

Staff writer and WiresNews Corp Australia Network

FORMER NFL star Aaron Hernandez, acquitted of a double murder just days ago, has been found dead in his prison cell.

The 27-year-old’s death was not suspicious, Massachusetts prison authorities say.

Hernandez was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3am on Wednesday., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.

The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial- HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.

Before his downfall, New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was one of the brightest stars in American football. Picture: Getty Images

Before his downfall, New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was one of the brightest stars in American football. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison and had tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said.

Hernandez was moved to tears on Friday after he was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.

But he was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee’s sister.

A photo of Aaron Hernandez appearing in court in 2013. Picture: AP

A photo of Aaron Hernandez appearing in court in 2013. Picture: APSource:AP

His 2015 conviction had cemented a spectacular fall from grace for Hernandez, who once had a $40 million, five-year contract with the Patriots.

Hernandez’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In his prime, Aaron Hernandez was on a $40 million contract with the New England Patriots. Picture: Getty

In his prime, Aaron Hernandez was on a $40 million contract with the New England Patriots. Picture: GettySource:AFP

His death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House today to mark their Super Bowl win.

Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez’s death but didn’t anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.

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Last Friday, Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but was still serving a life sentence for another murder. Picture: Getty Images

Last Friday, Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but was still serving a life sentence for another murder. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images