Aaron Hernandez, a troubled football star convicted of murder in one case and acquitted in another, died Wednesday after reportedly committing suicide in prison. He was 27.
The news of the former Patriots star’s suicide came just days after he was found not guilty in a double homicide that happened in South Boston in 2012.
Hernandez, born November 6, 1989 in Bristol, Connecticut, was a football standout who attended the University of Florida on football scholarship before being drafted in the 4th round by the New England Patriots.
Hernandez quickly became part of a dynamic talent in Tom Brady’s offense. Despite being the youngest player on the roster, Hernandez found his way with the team, becoming the youngest player since 1960 to have more than 100 yards receiving.
He finished his 2010 campaign with 563 yards and 6 touchdowns, once earning rookie of the week honors and helping the team to a 14-2 record despite a quick exit in the playoffs.
In 2011, Hernandez helped the Patriots reach the Super Bowl but lost to the New York Giants, 21-17. The Pro Bowl alternate tight end had 79 catches for 910 yards and 7 touchdowns.
The Patriots signed Hernandez to a large contract extension in 2012, but his 2012 season was marred by injury, with an ankle sprain causing him to miss several games. Still, Hernandez hauled in 51 catches for 483 yards and 5 TDs.
It was in 2012, however where things started to unravel for Hernandez, who was investigated in connection with a double homicide on July 16. According to reports from that night, Hernandez became angry when patrons at a club spilled a drink on him. Later that evening, two men were shot and killed outside the club in their car.
In 2014, Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. He was found not guilty on Friday.
Hernandez was also charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013. While the Lloyd murder was being investigated, with Hernandez as a suspect, the Patriots released Hernandez.
Hernandez was eventually found guilty in April of 2015 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole. Hernandez was reportedly in the process of appealing that decision.
Hernandez was engaged to Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, with whom he had a daughter, Avielle.
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