April 19, 2017 07:55 AM
Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has hanged himself in his cell and has been pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 27.
An official with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections says Hernandez was found hanged in his cell just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end, and he was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster at 4:07 a.m.
Prison officials say the Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts They say he hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window.
Authorities say Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items.
Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a drink spilled at a nightclub.
RELATED: Ex-NFL Star Hernandez Acquitted in 2012 Double Murder
Here are key dates in the Hernandez case:
- June 8, 2010: Hernandez, a standout tight end drafted from the University of Florida, signs a four-year contract with the New England Patriots.
- Jan. 1, 2012: He sets a career best with 138 receiving yards in a win over Buffalo.
- July 16, 2012: Two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, are shot to death in their car as they wait at a red light in Boston's South End neighborhood.
- Aug. 27, 2012: Hernandez signs a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots.
- February 2013: An associate, Alexander Bradley, is shot in the face in Florida. Bradley files a lawsuit alleging that Hernandez shot him after they argued at a strip club.
- June 17, 2013: The body of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee, is found about a mile from Hernandez's mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
- June 26, 2013: Hernandez is arrested on a murder charge in Lloyd's slaying and taken from his home in handcuffs. He later pleads not guilty. The Patriots release him hours after his arrest.
- May 15, 2014: Hernandez is indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the shootings of de Abreu and Furtado. His lawyers say he is innocent.
- May 28, 2014: Hernandez pleads not guilty to charges in connection with the deaths of de Abreu and Furtado. A prosecutor says Hernandez was angry because de Abreu accidentally bumped into him at a nightclub while dancing, spilling his drink.
- Jan. 9, 2015: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in Lloyd's killing.
- April 7, 2015: Prosecutors and Hernandez's lawyers present their closing statements and the case goes to the jury.
- April 15, 2015: Hernandez is convicted of first-degree murder; carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
- Feb. 14, 2017: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
- April 6, 2017: Prosecutors and Hernandez's lawyers present their closing arguments.
- April 7, 2017: The jury begins deliberating.
- April 14, 2017: Hernandez acquitted of murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
- April 19, 2017: Hernandez found hanging by a bed sheet in his prison cell, dies at hospital.
Updated: April 19, 2017 07:55 AM
Created: April 19, 2017 06:00 AM
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)