Former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Found Dead Inside Prison Cell

He added, "Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence".

The tight end was dropped by the team just hours after he was arrested for the 2013 murder of semi-professional footballer Odin Lloyd, for which he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fiancee Shayanna Jenkins.

One of Aaron Hernandez's longtime friends says he's in shock and grieving after the National Football League star was found hanged in his prison cell.

"The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death", Hernandez's lawyer Jose Baez said in a statement.

A MA prisons spokesman says he's not aware of any suicide note written by Aaron Hernandez before the former New England Patriots star hanged himself in his cell, but stresses that the investigation is ongoing. In court, prosecutors alleged to the jury that Hernandez gunned down Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu after he became furious over a spilled drink at a nightclub.

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As the news of Aaron Hernandez's death spread Wednesday morning, people had a wide range of reactions.

Hernandez's former agent, Brian Murphy, said on Twitter that he did not believe the athlete had killed himself. Quinn calls Hernandez's death "a shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families".

In the Dorchester neighborhood where Lloyd grew up, a family friend of the victim wondered if Hernandez could no longer bear the weight of his crime and his squandered potential. You can't say you don't think about these things. "Today my heart hurts as I got the worse news I could have imagined".

Friends were also grieving in CT, where Hernandez was raised. A team spokesman said the trip would proceed and declined to comment further on Hernandez's death.

"We all can not believe it", said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Hernandez in Bristol.

"Especially after him getting acquitted of the double murder. It's fishy. It makes you wonder what really went on behind those walls in prison".