Aaron Hernandez, Former Star NFL Player, Kills Himself in Prison

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end, was found hanging in his cell

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Aaron Hernandez
Aaron HernandezCredit: Stephan Savoia/AP

Former New England Patriots football star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself in the jail cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, just days after being acquitted of a second double-murder charge, state prison officials said on Wednesday. 

Hernandez, 27, was a rising star in the National Football League when he was arrested in June 2013 and accused of murdering an acquaintance near his Massachusetts home. He was convicted of that killing and sentenced to life in prison in 2015 but on Friday found not guilty of another 2012 double murder. 

Staff at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, found Hernandez hanging in his prison cell at 3:05 A.M. local time and he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 A.M.

"Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window," the state corrections commission said in a statement. "Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items." 

Hernandez was facing a potential civil suit from the victims' families