Former Patriots Star Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide
Former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell on Wednesday morning from an apparent suicide.
Per reports, correction officers found Hernandez hanging from a bed sheet that was attached to his cell window. Hernandez’s body was discovered at approximately 3:05 am on Wednesday morning and was then rushed to a local hospital, where the former NFL star was pronounced dead.
Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for a conviction in the murder of Odin Lloyd, but had just been acquitted of a double-homicide. Hernandez had been the main suspect in the murders of the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but was found not guilty. Hernandez did still get a charge for unlawful weapon possession, however.
Hernandez’s recent acquittal makes what looks like a suicide seem to come at an odd time, especially with potential appeals for his initial conviction likely around the corner.
Considering Hernandez’s apparent suicide came after a legal win and in prison, it’s natural that his death will be followed by some scrutiny. Speculating why or how is a dangerous game, but it’s fair to wonder Hernandez’s motive for ending his life when he had won a trial, continued to proclaim his innocence for the previous crime he was accused of and still had avenues to potentially fighting to again become a free man.
Closure For All Sides?
While Aaron Hernandez’s suicide is shocking on an obvious level, it’s understandable how a 27-year old human being could see a lack of hope ahead of them in a violent environment such as prison.
Even with the recent legal victory, Hernandez easily could have become hopeless in his long-term plight for freedom. If Hernandez was truly guilty of any of his past crimes, it also remains possible he took his own life out of guilt.
Regardless of the reason, Hernandez’s death could potentially bring closure to the lives of the people that were left behind with the death of his victims. Odin Lloyd’s family specifically will now hopefully be able to move on from their tragedy.
A Wasted Life
Aaron Hernandez’s apparent suicide is a troubling development for numerous reasons. On one hand – murderer or not – a young man felt he had no escape from a life that still had many more years to be lived.
Even in prison, it wouldn’t have been impossible for Hernandez to own up to his mistakes, offer his victim’s families true closure with a full sentence and honesty, while also reforming and doing good for the outside world.
Beyond Hernandez’s prison death, this was also a life very much wasted on the outside. Hernandez was a versatile and athletic star for the Florida Gators and rose to quick stardom with the New England Patriots as a dangerous “move” tight end.
Hernandez had formed a lethal duo with fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski and the future was bright for the then 25-year old. After his conviction, Hernandez was at the very worst throwing away fame, a life in pro football at an extremely high level, as well as true fortune.
Prior to being locked up for the murder investigations, Hernandez had sealed a new deal with the Pats, good for five years and roughly $40 million ($16 million guaranteed). Hernandez seemed grateful, authentic and incapable of the horrifying acts he would later allegedly commit.
Hernandez never got to truly bask in the glory of his NFL career or his first huge NFL contract. Just one year after getting the deal of his dreams, Hernandez was brought in to be questioned about the death of former semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, and the rest is history.
Hernandez leaves behind a four-year old daughter, a once budding career in pro football and the potential to impact young lives from prison. The backlash from Hernandez’s suicide will be mixed. Some people will agree that any loss of life is sad and that Hernandez still had a chance to redeem himself and make good use of the years he had left, while others will take solace in a bad man leaving this world.
Perspective can be key in moments like this, but Aaron Hernandez was still a human being. He was still a person and he had amazing talent and the opportunity to impact a wide array of people. Unfortunately, he made poor decisions along the way that led to other people dying, his career going up in smoke and his own life ending.
If nothing else, perhaps Aaron Hernandez can serve as a constant reminder for our youth that aspires for fame, glory and fortune; and just how horribly everything can go wrong in the blink of an eye.
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