April 19, 2017 at 8:40 am #67612
Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison
BOSTON — Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell early Wednesday, Massachusetts prisons officials said.
Hernandez, 27, was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.
The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.
Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his cell and was pronounced dead at a hospital. He was 27. AP Photo/Steven Senne
Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum security state prison. He hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window, Fallon said.
Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said.
Fallon said he’s not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez and stressed that an investigation is ongoing. He said that officials had no concern that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life, and if there was a concern about his well-being, Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit.
Hernandez was moved to tears on Friday after he was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston. Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fiancee Shayanna Jenkins. Cameras captured the tender exchange.
But, Hernandez was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancee’s sister.
Hernandez’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today,” a Patriots spokesman told ESPN Wednesday morning.
Hernandez’s death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House today to mark their Super Bowl win. Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez’s death but didn’t anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.
Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez’s death but didn’t anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.
Massachusetts State Police remain on the scene investigating the death.April 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm #67620
OmgApril 19, 2017 at 3:02 pm #67626
Not sure how I feel. Or if I even care about his death. I just hope the jury got it right in the double murder trial for the sake of the victim’s families because it’s over now.April 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm #67651
Patriots, NFL may still have to pay Aaron Hernandez’s family after death
Aaron Hernandez’s suicide Wednesday could impact the amount of money he’s owed by the NFL and the New England Patriots.
Hernandez, who played for the Patriots for three seasons, apparently hanged himself during the appeal process of his conviction of murdering Odin Lloyd as well as a gun-related conviction in a double-murder case. Because Hernandez will not be able to take part in the appeals process, the court will vacate all charges, per Massachusetts and federal law.
That could have ramifications for whether his estate gets money from the NFL and his former team. What do they owe him? Do they owe him anything?
“And that’s the question that’s starting to be raised with respect to the bonus provisions in his contract and his NFL pension,” lawyer Michael Coyne told CSNNE’s “Toucher and Rich” Wednesday. “If these convictions are ultimately vacated — both his conviction with Odin Lloyd and his conviction on the gun charge — because of his failure to appeal, will his estate, will his child and his wife be able to recover either some of the bonus that’s still due to him under the Patriots contract or any of his pension benefits that the NFL might owe him?”
In June 2013, the Patriots withheld $3.25 million of Hernandez’s signing bonus. They also refused to pay him his $2.5 million in his guaranteed base salary. New England cited the collective bargaining agreement as their reason for withholding that guaranteed money. That’s the money Hernandez’s lawyers will likely pursue.
Coyne added: “The question is then: If he’s no longer criminally liable, has he violated the provisions of any of his contractual terms? And you know, where there’s money like this involved, the lawyers will have a field day.”
In other words, the legal loophole could result in some income, paid by the Patriots and the NFL, for Hernandez’s family. And lawyers will explore how much money, if any, they can recoup for their client’s family by scrutinizing his contract with the Patriots.
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