Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell early Wednesday morning in Shirley, Mass. In a statement, the Massachusetts Department of Correction labeled his death a suicide by hanging.
This is that statement:
On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming his door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on the scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.
Five days ago, a Boston jury had acquitted Hernandez of murdering Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a city nightclub in 2012. Hernandez remained in prison and was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
In an email to the Boston Globe, Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said, “We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.” The Patriots are visiting the White House today to be celebrated for their Super Bowl win.
Through an obscure and rarely invoked Massachusetts legal principle called abatement ab initio, because Hernandez had not exhausted all his appeals on his murder conviction, that conviction is essentially now voided. The practical effect of this is that evidence from Hernandez’s criminal trial cannot be used in any potential civil trials against his estate.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.