Aaron Hernandez — convicted murderer, acquitted double-murder suspect, and former million-dollar NFL star — is dead. Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correction Center, a maximum-security prison about 50 miles northeast of Boston.
The Massachusetts Department of Corrections issued this statement:
“On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m. Lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.”
Though the statement makes no mention of foul play, the District Attorney’s office is “probing” the suicide.
In a strange twist, his death means that his original murder conviction will be voided, due to abatement ab initio, an obscure legal principle that says if you die while a case is still under appeal, your legal status reverts to where it was before the case began. So in death, Aaron Hernandez technically becomes an innocent man. Technically.
Hernandez’s death came on the same day that the New England Patriots are due to visit President Donald Trump in the White House to celebrate the team’s win in Super Bowl LI. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who threw passes to Hernandez and is a noted “good friend” of Trump, has announced that he won’t attend the event.
See our full biography of Aaron Hernandez »