Aaron Hernandez: What Was the Ex-NFL Star’s Cause of Death?

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Written By Sedoso Feb

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of suicide. Reader discretion is advised.

Former New England Patriots tight end and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez died in his prison cell in April 2017, per CNN. He was serving a life sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

According to Yahoo Sports, corrections officers found Hernandez hanging in his cell in the early morning hours of April 19. CNN further stated that the 27-year-old hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to a window. The officers found him unresponsive at 3:05 a.m., following which they attempted “lifesaving techniques” unsuccessfully. Authorities then transported him to UMass Leominster, read the Department of Corrections statement. The statement further read that “he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.”

An autopsy determined Hernandez’s cause of death to be asphyxia by hanging, reported The Independent. The manner of death was suicide.

Aaron Hernandez: What was he convicted of?

At the time of his death, disgraced NFL star Aaron Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. CNN stated that in April 2015, a jury found Hernandez guilty of first-degree murder in 27-year-old Lloyd’s shooting death. The victim was a semi-professional football player and was dating Hernandez’s fiancée’s sister.

Per the outlet, on June 17, 2013, a jogger found Lloyd’s body in a Massachusetts industrial park. Lloyd had died of multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest. The park is located less than a mile from Hernandez’s house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, reported The Standard.

Police focused the investigation on Aaron Hernandez after finding the key to his rented car in Lloyd’s pocket, per Statesboro Herald. The Standard stated that police searched Hernandez’s home and charged him with first-degree murder in connection to Lloyd’s fatal shooting. They also charged him with five other gun-related charges. Not long after, the New England Patriots released him from the team.

Then, in May 2014, prosecutors charged Hernandez with two additional counts of murder. These charges stemmed from the July 2012 deaths of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu. Both men died in a drive-by shooting outside a Boston club.

First, a jury convicted Aaron Hernandez of Odin Lloyd’s murder as well as the weapons charges he faced in April 2015. Following the guilty verdict, he received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Two years later, in April 2017, a jury acquitted Henandez on both counts of murder in Furtado and Abreu’s killings, according to CNN. However, he was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm.

The Independent reported that five days after his acquittal, Aaron Hernandez died by suicide in his prison cell. The 27-year-old had jammed his cell door from the inside using cardboard. Moreover, he had coated the floor with shampoo to prevent himself from gaining footing. State police revealed they found “John 3:16” written on Hernandez’s forehead as well as on the cell wall.

Per the report, state police also said that Hernandez’s right middle finger had a cut. There seemed to be a large circular blood mark on each of his feet, and the cell wall had several drawings and “John 3:16” written in blood. Moreover, they found a Bible open to John 3:16 with the verse marked in blood. Authorities also found three handwritten notes next to the Bible.

According to The New York Times, Judge E. Susan Garsh formally vacated Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction in May 2017. Judge Garsh vacated his murder conviction after his death as he died before he could make an appeal.

Hernandez grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, where his football career began. In 2012, he earned a five-year contract extension worth up to $40 million, per CNN.

Netflix’s Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez chronicles the former NFL star‘s tragic end to a promising career and life.


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