Aaron Hernandez (1989-2017) commits suicide

Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell this morning less than a week after being acquitted on double-murder charges.

Published on Wednesday, 4/19/17, at 7:29 a.m. Eastern.

Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his cell this morning at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center at 3:05 a.m. Eastern.

According to a press release from the maximum-security prison, “lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.”

This concludes the most jaw-dropping and perplexing fall from grace by an elite athlete in modern sports history.

I certainly didn’t have this in mind when I wrote about Hernandez’s acquittal on Friday.

In retrospect, however, it seems clear that Hernandez was thinking just like I was when he was cleared of the 2012 double homicide last week.

With his second murder trial over, what was left? Nothing.

Nothing but regret. Nothing but time — decade after decade behind bars with no hope of ever getting out.

The cameras were gone. There was no trial looming in which he could wear his expensive suits and mouth “I love you” to his ride-or-die fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez.

When Hernandez hugged his lawyers with tears in his eyes leaving the courtroom Friday, my first thought is that we might not ever lay eyes on him again.

We won’t. Hernandez, at the age of 27, is no longer with us.

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