Aaron Hernandez was a troubled man, not a monster

Aaron Hernandez died innocent of murder despite the conviction for which he was serving a life sentence

Less than a week after he was acquitted in a double murder trial, Aaron Hernandez's suicide early Wednesday morning sent shockwaves across New England.

The Worcester County District Attorney's Office in MA said after an investigation into the former National Football League star's death that Hernandez took his own life.

Today, some are questioning why Hernandez would take his own life - MA prison officials say he hung himself in his cell - just when things seemed to be looking better for his future.

The bad news comes on the day Hernandez's former team, the New England Patriots, are set to visit the White House for winning the Super Bowl.

Investigators wouldn't say what Hernandez's handwritten notes said. "Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death".

Hernandez had been housed in a single cell in a general population unit at the maximum-security state prison in Shirley.

Hernandez signed a seven-year, $40 million contract with the Patriots prior to the 2012 season.

The former Patriots tight end was still serving a life sentence for his 2015 conviction for murdering his friend Odin Lloyd in 2013. He says Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit if there was any concern about his well-being.

Hernandez and Gronkowski quickly established themselves as the best young tight ends in football.

- April 23, 2010: Hernandez drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

"It's our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally", Baez said.

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But the team released him in 2013 after he was arrested in the killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

"Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence", he said in a statement, referring to the possibility of Herdandez's first-degree murder conviction being overturned. Hernandez had been at the same nightclub as the two victims, and one of Hernandez's friends, Alexander Bradley, would later claim it was Hernandez who shot them, because one of them bumped into and spilled a drink onto Hernandez and smirked.

In November 2012, Hernandez became engaged to Shayanna Jenkins, the same month she gave birth to their daughter, and the same month he bought a 7,100-square-foot mansion in North Attleborough. Pouncey testified before a grand jury in the case but not at Hernandez's trial.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said: "We are aware of the reports but I don't anticipate that we will be commenting today".

Prosecutors suggested Lloyd may have been killed to keep him quiet about the 2012 Boston killings.

In Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood where Lloyd grew up, a family friend of the Lloyds wondered if the weight of Hernandez's crimes - and of great potential squandered - had finally caught up with him.

"I just think it got to him - the guilt", Mixson Philip said.

He surrounded himself with men who carried guns and copious amounts of drugs. You can put on an act like nothing happened, but you've got a soul. "You've got a heart".

Only on Friday, Aaron was cleared of another double homicide that would have earned him two more life sentences.

Hernandez's body is at a Boston-area funeral home, but services for the Bristol, Connecticut, native likely will be held elsewhere.

Baez declined to say whether he or the family believed brain damage from Hernandez's playing days led him to kill himself. "It just doesn't add up".

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