Aaron Hernandez's prison death shrouded in mystery

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Hernandez used a red marker to scrawl John 3:16 above his eyes, a macabre suicide note that used the most widely quoted verse in all of Christianity.

The 27-year-old was accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but the jury did not find him guilty.

Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots as a valued tight end.

Attorney William Kennedy said the joint wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of de Abreu and Furtado against Hernandez will proceed against his estate. His death was "a shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families", said Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, who prosecuted Hernandez in the Lloyd case.

Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications Christopher Fallon also says Wednesday that officials had no concern that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life.

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His death came hours before his former New England Patriots teammates visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. In 2012, he signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension.

Lisa Newman-Polk, a former mental health worker at the prison, says prisoners serving life sentences are always flagged as higher risk for mental health problems.

A prison van drives past the at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, U.S., where former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell April 19, 2017.

"The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death", Baez said in a statement.

But during an appearance on CSNNE's Toucher and Rich on Wednesday, attorney Michael Coyne argued that Hernandez's estate might be able to get its hands on that money since the National Football League and the Patriots would no longer have a legal reason to hold onto it in light of his death.

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Hernandez's former agent, Brian Murphy, said on Twitter that he did not believe the athlete had killed himself. The onetime tight end was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later.

"For all intent and practical purposes, Aaron Hernandez will die an innocent man, but the court of public opinion may think differently", said Healy.

The Massachusetts State Police are investigating his death.

Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez's death but didn't anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.

As the Associated Press reported, prosecutors accused Hernandez of opening fire on their auto because he felt disrespected when one of the men bumped into him and spilled his drink at a Boston nightclub. Friday, Hernandez was acquitted in the double-murder case.

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