Former Florida Gator and New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell Wednesday morning, as first reported by the Boston Globe.
The 27-year-old was found hanging in his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts at around 3 a.m. The Department of Correction said in a statement that Hernandez attempted to block the door from the inside by jamming it with various objects.
Hernandez was just coming off a double-murder trial in which he was found not guilty of killing two men after an altercation in a nightclub.
Aaron Hernandez was born in Bristol, Connecticut and went to the University of Florida for three years. As a tight end he received accolades including the John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end.
After his junior year, Hernandez entered the NFL 2010 Draft and was selected by the New England Patriots. He would play three seasons with the team, catching 18 touchdowns with over 1900 yards receiving.
Shortly after receiving a five-year extension, Hernandez was accused of killing Odin Lloyd, a friend of his. After a lengthy trial, Hernandez was sentenced to life without parole for first-degree murder.
Recently, Hernandez was found not guilty of a double-murder charge regarding a 2012 Boston shooting. He was found guilty of illegal possession of a handgun.
Around the University of Florida, students expressed their reactions to the death:
— Skyler Lebron (@SkylerLebron) April 19, 2017