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

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The death of the former New England Patriots tight end Wednesday will nearly certainly lead to the expungement of his 2015 first-degree murder conviction for the slaying of Odin Lloyd since the case was still under appeal in MA. Massachusetts state police have launched an investigation into Hernandez's death, which authorities say occurred early Wednesday at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts. "Today my heart hurts as I got the worse news I could have imagined".

A prison spokesman told the Boston Globe that Hernandez had not been on a suicide watch and did not indicate that he meant to harm himself.

There was no comment from the Patriots, who were on Wednesday welcomed to the White House by President Donald Trump as the winners of the premier American football championship.

Friends also were grieving in CT, where Hernandez was raised.

"We all can not believe it", said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Hernandez in Bristol. He was acquitted on Friday of a 2012 double homicide in Boston.

"We all can not believe it", said Alex Cugno, who grew up with Hernandez in Bristol. "I don't believe that he would have killed himself". And if he hires me for the second trial, we're going to go all at it.

In June 2013, Odin Lloyd's bloodied body was found less than a mile from Hernandez's luxury MA home.

"It's an unusual circumstance, and we would have to prepare carefully before we decide to go about it", said Thompson, Hernandez's lawyer. That led the state's appeals court to vacate his conviction later that year.

"The idea is that if an appeal hasn't happened, there's a chance that a conviction has an error in it".

He would not give details on a timeline for this process.

Hernandez's death swung the spotlight back on a long line of crimes to tarnish the image of the National Football League, most infamously by star running back O.J. Simpson.

In the second murder trial, prosecutors said Hernandez opened fire on a auto, killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, because he felt disrespected when one of the men bumped into him and spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub.

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. As the jury was deliberating, cameras spied Hernandez blowing kisses to the young daughter he fathered with fiancee Shayanna Jenkins.

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