Former Patriots Star, Convicted Killer Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide in Prison

Aaron Hernandez with the New England Patriots.
Aaron Hernandez with the New England Patriots. Jeffrey Beal
Aaron Hernandez with the New England Patriots. - JEFFREY BEAL
Aaron Hernandez with the New England Patriots.
Jeffrey Beal
Aaron Hernandez survived a rough childhood in Hartford, Connecticut, to become a star tight end at the University of Florida — where he won a national championship — and a starter for the New England Patriots. Then, a year after he signed a $40 million contract extension, Hernandez improbably threw away his career when he murdered a man in Massachusetts.

Now he is dead.

Hernandez was found dead, hanging from a bed sheet in his Shirley, Massachusetts, prison cell early Wednesday morning, authorities said. He was serving a life sentence, without the possibility of parole, for the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée.

Just five days ago, a jury acquitted Hernandez of a 2012 double murder in Boston. Police suspected Hernandez may have been involved in those killings after they investigated the Lloyd murder.

The Patriots, who released Hernandez hours after he was arrested, told the Boston Globe the franchise had no comment on their former player's death. That will be a tough pledge for the franchise to keep, as the Patriots will be visiting the White House Wednesday to celebrate their Super Bowl win in Houston in February.

The Patriots have continued to excel in the four seasons since they released Hernandez, winning four division titles and two Super Bowls. Though the team would have undoubtedly been more dominant with Hernandez, who in his three seasons with the team completed a devastating tight end combo with Rob Gronkowski.

In his final season, in 2012, Hernandez helped the Patriots stomp the Texans, 42-14, in a Monday night game where he scored two touchdowns.

Hernandez's contract ran until 2018.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Zach Despart is the managing editor of the Houston Press and oversees the news and music verticals.
Contact: Zach Despart