Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Found Dead In Prison

Massachusetts prison officials say former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is dead.

An official with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections says Hernandez was found hanged in his cell just after 3 am Wednesday.

Authorities tried to revive the former New England Patriots tight end but the 27-year-old was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster.

Prison officials say the Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts They say he hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window.

Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a drink spilled at a nightclub.

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Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots chats with Aaron Hernandez #81 during a game on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The former University of Florida star began his NFL career as a fourth round draft pick with the Patriots in 2010.  Hernandez helped the Patriots to Super Bowl 46 and scored a touchdown during the game. The Patriots lost to the Giants 21 to 17.

About six weeks after the double slaying in 2012, Hernandez signed a five-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots and went on to play another season.

With files from the Associated Press