Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has committed suicide just five days after he was acquitted of killing two men in a drive-by shooting.
The Department of Corrections said the 27-year-old was found hanged in his cell just after 3am local time on Wednesday morning. He was serving a life sentence on a prior conviction.
“Life-saving techniques were attempted on Hernandez and he was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4.07am,” its statement added.
Local media later reported Hernandez sliced open his finger and wrote ‘JOHN 3:16’ in blood on his forehead—-a Bible in the cell was reportedly open to that verse, which reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Other outlets say the writing was written with a ‘red blood marker,’ not actual blood.
Investigators also reportedly discovered blood on the walls.
Police say they’re looking into whether Hernandez smoked synthetic marijuana before hanging himself.
At the height of his career with the New England Patriots, Hernandez was on a five-year contract worth $40m.
A jury had cleared Hernandez of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in drive-by shooting after a fight outside a nightclub in Boston’s South End.
Hernandez was acquitted on seven of the eight charges he had faced.
Prosecutors had accused the former NFL star of shooting the men because his drink had been spilled inside the club.