Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell days after being acquitted for a 2012 double homicide, officials at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said Wednesday.
Hernandez was 27.
Hernandez's death comes the same day the Patriots are scheduled to make their visit to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl win.
“We are aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today," Patriots spokesman Stacey James wrote to the Boston Globe.
Last Friday, Hernandez was found not guilty in a double murder trial of two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, in a July 2012 drive-by shooting.
Officials said that Hernandez was found hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Barnowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass. at 3:05 a.m.
He was pronounced dead an hour later at UMass Memorial–HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster after attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Hernandez used a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window to hang himself after first attempting to block the door by jamming the door with several items.
Hernandez was already serving a life sentence without parole in a Massachusetts prison after he was found guilty of the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd. Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée at the time of his death.
Hernandez starred at the University of Florida before he was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft.
He caught 175 passes for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns during his NFL career.