Ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez hangs himself in his prison cell

Here is the full statement from the Department of Corrections.

Hernandez was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the former New England Patriots tight end's murder conviction will likely be dismissed posthumously because of a legal rule known as "abatement".

Authorities say he hanged himself using a bedsheet tied to his cell window and had blocked the door from the inside by jamming it with various items.

Leslie Walker, of Prisoners' Legal Services of MA, told WBUR's Deborah Becker on Morning Edition that prisoners are monitored to prevent suicide.

Hernandez was the only person in the cell. "Sometimes rounds are done more frequently, and I do not know how often, but regularly - half hour, hour". He said officials had no reason to believe Hernandez might take his life, and if they had had had any such worries, he would have been transferred to a mental health unit. "If they are exposed properly, [Hernandez] certainly can and should get a new trial".

The inmate suicide rate at MA state prisons is double the national rate, according to the Bureau of Judicial Statistics.

He was a productive tight end for the Patriots for three seasons, catching 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns in his second year to help the team reach the Super Bowl.

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Wednesday, April 19th is also the day the New England Patriots are scheduled to visit The White House. The Massachusetts State Police are on the scene and the investigation continues.

Guards found Hernandez shortly after 3am local time, Correction Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said.

The Office of the Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine the exact cause of his death. He's the second son of Dennis Hernandez, a former high school football star who played for the University of CT, and Terri Valentine-Hernandez. "I had never been involved in a case with so much reasonable doubt".

His death came less than a week after the 27-year-old athlete was acquitted in a second murder case.

After the trial, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said what so many devastated supporters and onlookers had been feeling for years: Hernandez had squandered an opportunity for greatness and turned instead to the unthinkable.

Speaking with ESPN for a piece published Tuesday afternoon, Baez said he was looking to appeal Hernandez's conviction for the murder of Lloyd.

"For all intent and practical purposes, Aaron Hernandez will die an innocent man, but the court of public opinion may think differently", said Healy.

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