Aaron Hernandez, 27-Year-Old Former NFL Star, Dies in Prison

Gettyimages 177217646 43e44f6b 6aae 4b5a a2fe ed64a3fc7c30
Getty Images

This story first appeared on RollingStone.com.

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who was serving a life sentence for murder, was found dead in his prison cell Wednesday morning of an apparent suicide. Hernandez was 27.

FEATURE: Aaron Hernandez, the Gangster in the Huddle

Read article

Former Patriots tight end might have been one of the NFL’s all-time greats, but he could never escape drugs, guns, and a life of violence

In a statement from the Department of Corrections, the former football star was found hanging from a bedsheet in his cell in the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, at approximately 3:05 a.m.

“Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit,” the statement said. “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 the door with various items.”

M1016_ft_gemminermurder_a 76aea049 73d5 49ef 8925 ac822ff009fa

ALSO: The Murder of an African Miner — And His Son’s Quest For Revenge

Read article

Hernandez, who was serving life in prison for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, had been acquitted in another double-murder trial less than a week before his death.

Hernandez, a former standout for Urban Meyer at the University of Florida, was selected by the New England Patriots in the 113th overall in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He’d start later that year as the youngest player on any NFL roster and quickly make his presence felt. In 2012, he signed an extension with New England worth $40 million. At the time, it was the second richest extension ever given to a tight end in league history, a sign that the team realized they had a great talent on their hands.

But it wouldn’t last. A year later, after his initial arrest for the murder of Lloyd, the team released him. From there, details started to come to the surface of a dark past filled with violence and drugs, stemming from his days in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut, that Hernandez couldn’t leave behind.

In an e-mail to the Boston Globe, New England Patriots spokesman Stacey James wrote that the team was aware of the death of their former player, “but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today,” he wrote.

Massachusetts State Police are currently investigating Hernandez’s death.

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!