Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez hanged himself on Wednesday in a prison cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, prison officials said, and his family called for an immediate investigation into the circumstances.
The body of the 27-year-old former athlete was found hanging from a bed sheet at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of an acquaintance but on Friday had been found not guilty of killing two other people.
State police were investigating the circumstances of the death of the former rising star in the National Football League, and a coroner was performing an autopsy on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” said lawyer Jose Baez, who successfully defended Hernandez in the double-murder trial. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence.”
Baez called on authorities to “conduct a transparent and thorough investigation” and promised his own examination of the death.