Former NFL standout Aaron Hernandez lost his lucrative football career to off-the-field decisions that landed him in jail for life. And today, the once New England Patriots star tight end committed suicide.
According to a statement released by the Massachusetts Department of Correction, Hernandez was found hanged with a bedsheet attached to his cell window by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., at 3:05 a.m. ET. After lifesaving techniques were performed, Hernandez was brought to UMass Memorial HealthAlliance Hospital in nearby Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.
Hernandez was charged with the murder of semipro football player and acquaintance Odin Lloyd in June 2013, and on April 15, 2015, was found guilty of first degree murder. In addition to the murder charge, the Bristol County Superior Court jury in Massachusetts found Hernandez guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
After the charge was announced, Puma dropped Hernandez as a brand ambassador. The football player had a two-year deal with the brand to lead the promotion of its training category. “Puma has ended the relationship with athlete Aaron Hernandez in light of the current situation,” the athletic company said in a statement.
After news broke of his suicide, NFL players took to social media to share their thoughts.