Aaron Hernandez Dead at 27
At 3AM this April 19, Aaron Hernandez was found unresponsive, hanging by the thread of a bed sheet inside his cell in Souza-Baranowski Corrections Center. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
It was confirmed Thursday by the Massachusetts chief medical examiner that Aaron Hernandez’s death was in fact a suicide, though there were speculations by many, including Hernandez’s own lawyer Jose Baez, that Hernandez’s death was caused by external forces: “As it relates to a suicide or not, we don’t make that call until (the investigation) is done”. Evidence suggests that Hernandez killed himself through asphyxiation.
Hernandez was not in court for one murder but for three, in two separate cases. The first, occuring on July 16, 2012, was between Hernandez and two men: Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu, both outside a Boston nightclub. De Abreu allegedly spilled a drink on Hernandez, and Hernandez believed this was on purpose. Upon leaving the club later that night, Hernandez and a friend then found de Abreu in his car at a red light, and Hernandez shot at him through the window, killing both de Abreu and his friend, Safiro Furtado. Hernandez first plead not guilty on May 28, 2014 before being acquitted of all charges for this case on April 14, 2017.
On June 17, 2013, Hernandez had another incident, this time in North Attleboro. Hernandez’s victim, Odin Lloyd, was dating Hernandez’s fiancé’s sister, so the two had prior history. Lloyd allegedly said or did something that destroyed Hernandez’s trust, along with allegedly taking a bag of marijuana and the keys to Hernandez’s rental car. Ten hours later, also according to the prosecutors, Hernandez and two accomplices, Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace, went and shot Odin Lloyd with a .45 caliber pistol. Hernandez was found guilty of first-degee murder on April 15, 2015.
On June 26, 2013, the ten-second clip of Aaron Hernandez being handcuffed and removed from his North Attleboro home in a stretched-out T-shirt dominated the news and horrified the nation.
When he committed suicide this past week, Aaron Hernandez was days removed from being acquitted of the murders of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu from 2012, where judges were unable to undoubtably trace the murders back to Hernandez. Aaron’s lawyer, Jose Baez, is well-known for defending Casey Anthony in 2011, and was hired after Hernandez lost the Odin Lloyd case.
Aaron’s fiancé Shayanna and daughter Avielle will continue life without him, though a cash settlement from the Patriots is possible. Hernandez had a $40 million dollar contract voided following his arrest and jailing, but his family may receive a quarter of the money as a result of a loophole in Massachusetts law.
Hernandez’s death marks the end of a downward spiral, but the investigations will continue. Hernandez’s family will donate his brain to Boston University’s concussion research group.
Hernandez’s former fiancé and family have been silent throughout the court proceedings, and have not made themselves available to the media.
Hernandez was never thought to be an angel, even by the team and coach he played for. His troubled past made him to slip to the Patriots in the 4th round of the 2010 draft despite his immense talent for the game. Patriots fans and reporters were rightfully suspicious of his non-football life and the meaning behind his tattoos, but his double life as a drug dealer, drug user, gang member, and murderer shocked and horrified everyone.
We now know what most of his tattoos meant as more of his past life is revealed following his death. Among them is a black star on the neck with thin stenciled letters above it that form one word. It needs no further explanation: “LIFETIME”