Aaron Hernandez found dead in prison with Bible verse written across forehead

Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction could be thrown out because he was still in the process of an appeal at the time of his apparent suicide, legal experts in MA said.

Hernandez, 27, was found hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.

A law enforcement official told the Globe that Hernandez wrote "John 3:16" on his forehead with red ink. He had attempted to block the door from the inside by jamming it with various items, prison officials said.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Wednesday.

"The family of Aaron Hernandez has chose to donate to this study so that we could possibly help other young men who decide to play football, and to help further that cause, and also possibly shed light and more evidence on this case", Baez said. Simpson was found innocent and set free; Hernandez was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

"We are aware of the reports, but I don't anticipate that we will be commenting today", a Patriots spokesperson said.

He declined to say whether he or Hernandez's family believed the former Patriots player had CTE but said they wanted a "thorough" investigation into his death.

He said that Hernandez' family had made a decision to donate his brain for the study of CTE - the concussion-linked brain syndrome that has been linked to mental health problems and suicide among affected National Football League players.

The question of why Hernandez would end his own life might go unanswered.

Hernandez's death may also give his lawyers an opportunity to void his conviction for Lloyd's murder.

Earlier Thursday, Baez held a press conference where he accused the medical examiner of "illegally" holding the brain.

Five days ago, Hernandez was acquitted of double murder charges in the drive-by shooting deaths of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012.

Hernandez's brain will be donated to Boston University's CTE Center, Jose Baez said, when the medical examiner releases it. He issued a statement Wednesday saying that Hernandez's family and legal team are "shocked and surprised" at the news of his death.

In a maximum-security prison outside Boston, about an hour from the stadium where he played alongside stars like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowsi, Hernandez jammed the door to his one-man cell lest guards try to stop him and put an early end to the life-without-parole sentence he received for a 2013 murder.

Regardless, the coroner has since classified Hernandez's death as a suicide.

"No one is going to stand in the way of the family's wishes for Boston University to have Aaron Hernandez's brain", he said.

Latest News