Aaron Hernandez’s death is shocking to sports fans, especially those who remember him as a Patriots star who was going to rise the ranks of the NFL. From a promising athlete to a convicted murderer, this is the story of Aaron’s tragic fall from grace.
The downfall of Aaron Hernandez is one of the most upsetting stories to come out of professional sports, the unraveling of a young man with so much promise who committed a horrific crime, then took his own life. It’s utterly tragic. Aaron, 27, was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2009, when he was just 19 years old, starting the 2010 season as the youngest player on any active roster in the NFL.
He immediately proved himself a major asset to the Patriots, catching six passes for 101 yards in a game against the New York Jets in Week 2 of the 2010 season. That move made him the youngest player since 1960 to have 100 yards receiving in a single game. In a Week 9 game against the Cleveland Browns, Aaron caught his first career touchdown, the first of many to come.
His 2012 contract with the Patriots in 2012, set to run until 2018, included the largest signing bonus ever given to an NFL tight end — $12.5 million. The $40 million total was the second-largest contract extension ever. He was a major deal in the NFL, and was expected to flourish for years to come.
Aaron started dating Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez in 2007, and they had a daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez, in November 2012. Aaron and Shayanna got engaged a month after Avielle’s birth, and though they never married, she took his last name. Both Shayanna and Avielle were in court on April 12 as Aaron faced jury deliberation on double homicide charges, and it was a heartbreaking scene. Aaron blew kisses and waved at the four-year-old as she waved back and cried.
In 2015, Aaron was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2013 shooting death of his friend, Odin Lloyd. He was found guilty of first degree murder and five firearm charges after Odin’s body was discovered in an industrial park about a mile from his house with gunshot wounds to the back and chest.
While serving the life sentence in a Massachusetts prison, double homicide charges were also brought against him for the 2012 murders of Daniel Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28. The two men were fatally shot in their car at a stoplight shortly after leaving a Boston nightclub, and had allegedly gotten into a fight with Aaron earlier in the night. Aaron was found not guilty of the murders on April 14.
Sadly, on April 19, Aaron committed suicide in his prison cell by hanging himself with his bedsheets attached to his window. Aaron attempted to block the door to the cell, but was found while still alive. He unfortunately died about an hour later, at 4:00am ET, at a local hospital. Aaron’s lawyer, Jose Baez, is launching an investigation into Aaron’s death on behalf of his family, as they don’t believe he was in the frame of mind to take his own life.
HollywoodLifers, let us know what you think in the comments.