Just a few days after former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of a 2012 double homicide, and while his ex-NFL team was set to visit the White House for the annual Super Bowl winner’s congratulatory outing, the ex-NFL tight end was found hanging inside his Massachusetts jail cell. The 27-year-old was serving a Life Sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player.

Hernandez used a bed sheet as a noose

Hernandez was incarcerated at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. At approximately 3:00 a.m.

Wednesday, officials found Hernandez hanging from his window. According to prison staff, the All-American used a sheet from his bed to commit suicide. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead approximately one hour later.

“Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window,” the corrections facility said in a released statement. The statement also indicated that Hernandez attempted to prevent prison guards from entering his cell by jamming various objects under the cell door. Officials said Hernandez was not at suicide risk and was not being monitored. There was no suicide note left.

2013 murder trial

Hernandez was found guilty in 2013 for the North Attleboro shooting death of Odin Lloyd, a man described as a friend of Hernandez.

Lloyd’s body was dumped in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home, riddled with bullets. Police immediately labeled Hernandez a suspect after he deliberately smashed his home’s security system, destroyed his cellphone and hired “house cleaners,” ostensibly to eliminate any evidence in his home.

2012 double homicide

The former Patriot was also investigated in connection with a 2012 double murder in Boston.

Hernandez was accused of killing two men after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on the former NFL player. The two men were murdered when a shooter fired into their vehicle. On April 14 of this year, Hernandez was found not guilty. His lawyer, Jose Baez – who also successfully defended Florida mother Casey Anthony in the murder trial of Anthony’s daughter Caylee – said Hernandez had been pinned for the murder.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, who prosecuted Hernandez in the Lloyd murder trial, said Aaron’s death is a “shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families.”

In the Lloyd trial, prosecutors suggested that Hernandez killed Lloyd because he was determined to leak information to the police regarding Hernandez’s role in the 2012 double murder.

Patriots response to Hernandez's death

A spokesperson for the New England Patriots told the Boston Globe Wednesday that the team is “aware of the reports, but I don’t anticipate that we will be commenting today.” Many former New England Patriots players and friends of Hernandez expressed shock – and skepticism – over his death.