Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots star who was convicted of murder, was found hanged Wednesday morning in the MA prison where he was serving a life sentence, officials said. He was transported to a MA hospital where a physician pronounced him dead at approximately 4:07 am (0807 GMT). Hernandez had been serving a sentence of life in prison without parole after being convicted of the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd.
In the second murder trial, prosecutors said Hernandez opened fire on a auto, killing de Abreu and Furtado, because he felt disrespected when one of the men bumped into him and spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub.
Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction is expected to be dismissed posthumously because of a legal rule called "abatement".
Mr. Hernandez was housed in a single cell in the general prison population, the statement said. Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming it with various items, Fallon said.
His death came hours before his former New England Patriots teammates visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. Hernandez's lead defense attorney Jose Baez said his office will conduct its own investigation. He had allegedly hanged himself with a bed sheet.
Martin Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, said Hernandez's death means his murder conviction will be erased under a centuries-old legal doctrine enshrined in Massachusetts' criminal case law.
He says Hernandez was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence in the 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd. He says Hernandez's loved ones are "heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death". He said that officials had no concern that Hernandez might take his own life, and said if they had had any such worries he would have been transferred to a mental health unit.
Hernandez's attorneys are promising a separate investigation into his death and a state senator is pointing to a bigger problem in the state's prisons. Prosecutors claimed Hernandez opened fire at Abreu and Furtado's vehicle while it was stopped at a red light in Boston because he was angry that one of them spilled a drink on him at a club. About six weeks after Furtado and de Abreu were killed, Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots and went on to play another season before Lloyd was killed.
Investigators suggested Hernandez shot Lloyd to keep him quiet about the two earlier killings.