Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end NFL star was found dead in his cell early on Wednesday, having reportedly hanged himself.
Hernandez was pronounced dead at the age of 27 by doctors at the UMass Memorial Health Alliance Hospital the same morning. It’s believed that the former New England Patriot, who was serving a life sentence for murder, hanged himself using a bed sheet which he attached to a window. This information comes courtesy of Christopher Fallon, a spokesman for the Department of Correction.
Fallon adds that Hernandez had attempted to block the door to his cell by jamming it with various objects. Sources told ABC news that the former tight end was found dead with an eerie message written on his forehead and gives a frightening insight into his frame of mind at the time of his suicide.
Aaron Hernandez had reportedly written “John 3:16” on his forehead in an apparent reference to the bible. The verse reads;
“For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Christopher Fallon maintains that prison officials were not aware of Hernandez’s intention to take his own life, that he was not aware of any suicide note and that, if there had been concerns about Hernandez’s mental health, he would have been moved to a mental health unit.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Jose Baez, described his “shock” at the news of the former New England Patriots star’s death in a statement;
“The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death. There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible. Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.
Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death. We request that authorities conduct a transparent and thorough investigation.The Baez Law Firm will participate in its own examination into this tragic event and update the media and public on its findings when they become available.”
The news of his death comes mere days after Hernandez was acquitted of a double murder charge dating back to 2012 and the shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in the city of Boston.
Perhaps due to this, some close to Hernandez are struggling to believe that he did in fact commit suicide; his cousin, Randy Garica, is certainly among those. He says that he had spoken to Hernandez on Tuesday evening, and described the former NFL star thusly:
“His conversation was nothing but joy – he was thinking about his future and how he was going to win his appeal in his Odin Lloyd case, and he was in really good spirits. So for this to happen – we’re shocked and we still don’t believe that he took his life, and we still believe there’s a lot of foul play going on.”
Aaron Hernandez had been a star of college football at the University of Florida, but dropped way down to the fourth round of the NFL draft due to concerns over his behaviour in college. He spent three seasons with the New England Patriots before being released in June 2013 following his arrest in the Odin Lloyd case.