Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison

- Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star found guilty of murder, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his cell in a Massachusetts prison.

Hernandez was found hanging in his cell by corrections officers around 3:05 a.m. at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, Massachusetts Department of Correction officials said in a statement.

He was pronounced dead an hour later.

Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit and hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to his cell window. He also tried blocking his door from the inside with various items, officials said.

An investigation was ongoing.

Hernandez played for the New England Patriots until he was arrested for murder and convicted in 2015.  He  recently was found not-guilty of a separate double-murder.  He had been accused of a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a spilled drink.

The former tight end for the New England Patriots wept quietly as the verdicts were read in Boston on Friday. A few moments later, he looked back at his fiancee and nodded somberly as relatives of the victims sobbed loudly. A defense attorney hugged him.

Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee. Prosecutors in the double-murder trial weren't allowed to mention his conviction in Lloyd's case.

Here is the full statement from the Department of Correction on his death:

On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., 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 unit.  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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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