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Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Dead at 27

Holden Carter, Writer

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Former NFL tight end and convicted murderer, Aaron Hernandez, has died after hanging himself in his Massachusetts jail cell. Hernandez was a talented football player who played for the Florida Gators in college and was later drafted by the New England Patriots. He had everything going for him: an NFL contract, a wife, and a daughter. Why would he commit such an atrocity, with such a positive road ahead? We may never truly know.

Hernandez was first indicted in 2013 after the murder of Odin Lloyd. He was later charged with first degree murder, a charge in Massachusetts that carries a life sentence in prison without possibility of parole. He was indicted once again for a 2012 double homicide, but was found not guilty earlier this month. Technically, Hernandez died an “innocent” man in the eyes of the law. Under a long-standing Massachusetts legal principle, courts customarily vacate the convictions of defendants who die before their appeals are heard.

Hernandez lived a troubled life. He went from being an up-and-coming tight end to a convicted killer. His story is one of the biggest falls from grace since another football star, OJ Simpson, was indicted but later acquitted for a double homicide. Maybe Hernandez believed because of his money and social status he could get away with his crime. Instead what he found was life behind bars. His family was tragically changed forever.

The circumstances around his death are strange, to say the least. When Hernandez was found he had “John 3:16” written on his forehead. A Bible in his cell was also opened up to the page that contained the bible verse, which references eternal life. Next to the Bible were three suicide notes: one to his fiancee, a second one to his daughter, and a last one to a man with whom he reportedly had a romantic relationship in prison. Hernandez’s cell floor was covered in soap, which some believe was to ensure that if he lost his nerve, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from carrying out his plan.

Many are speculating that Hernandez’s life was taken in order for his fiancee and daughter to get money from the Patriots because of his previously signed contract. A portion of his signing bonus, up to 3.5 million dollars, was withheld. Legal experts claim that because of this, the Patriots will have to pay the money to the Hernandez family, as they have a legal obligation to pay out the withheld bonus. Hernandez was most likely knowledgeable of this legal proceeding, which could be a reason he decided to commit suicide. Now the Lloyd could file suit against the Hernandez estate, which will most likely go to his daughter. This will be a tough suit to win, especially since Hernandez is now deceased.

The rise and fall of Hernandez is a tragedy, a life changed forever because of unthinkable decisions that have tarnished his very being. He leaves behind his wife and 4-year-old daughter, and all we have left now are questions that will never be answered. Why would you do this to your family? Why would you give up millions of dollars and fame for this? We are now left wondering. However, this will most likely not be the end of this story, as more information continues to be released.

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Former NFL Star Aaron Hernandez Dead at 27