Birthday: November 6, 1989
American Football Players
Died At Age: 27
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Aaron Josef Hernandez
Born in: Bristol, Connecticut
Famous as: American Football Player
Height: 6'1" (185 cm), 6'1" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Shayanna Jenkins
father: Dennis Hernandez
mother: Terri Hernandez
siblings: D. J. Hernandez
children: Avielle Janelle Hernandez
Died on: April 19, 2017
place of death: Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Lancaster, Massachusetts
U.S. State: Connecticut
Cause of Death: Suicide
education: Bristol Central High School, University of Florida
Aaron Hernandez was an American football tight end who played for the New England Patriots in the National Football League (NFL) for three seasons before he was released by the team following his arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd. He and his fellow draftee and teammate Rob Gronkowski, one of the league's most dominant tight-end duos, became the first pair to score five touchdowns each in consecutive seasons for the same team. From the time he lost his father suddenly at the age of 16, Aaron Hernandez had been involved in several violent incidents, including battery, illegal possession of guns, shooting and murder. While most of his legal issues were settled out of court, he was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013 and was found guilty of first-degree murder in April 2015. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, where he committed suicide on April 19, 2017.
Childhood & Early Life
Aaron Josef Hernandez was born on November 6, 1989 in Bristol, Connecticut to Dennis Hernande, and Terri Valentine-Hernandez. He had an older brother named Dennis, Jr., also a professional footballer, who played at the University of Connecticut and later became quarterbacks coach at Brown University.
Aaron Hernandez went to the Bristol Central High School and played for the Bristol Rams football team. He received Connecticut's 'Gatorade Football Player of the Year' award in his senior year. Despite being committed to play alongside his elder brother at UConn, he eventually joined the University of Florida under head coach Urban Meyer.
While he started only three games for Florida Gators in 2007, in his sophomore year, he replaced injured Cornelius Ingram in eleven games and led the Gators to their BCS National Championship Game title win in 2009.
In his junior year, he won the John Mackey Award, and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, as well as a first-team All-American recognized by the Associated Press, College Football News and The Sporting News.
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Aaron Hernandez left college before senior year to enter the 2010 NFL Draft, during which he was selected by the New England Patriots in the fourth round. Following a controversy regarding marijuana use and multiple failed drug tests while in college, he had to issue a statement before signing a four-year contract with them on June 8, 2010.
The youngest player in the NFL during the 2010 season, he caught his first and second career touchdowns in their Week 9 loss against the Cleveland Browns. He went on to receive the 'Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week' award for catching two touchdown passes from Tom Brady in Week 15, and ended the season with six touchdowns from 14 games.
During the 2011 season, he achieved career-best 129 yards on nine receptions with a touchdown against the Denver Broncos and later led the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI, losing to the New York Giants. He played 12 of 14 games during the season, starting 10 of them, but like last season, missed two games due to knee injury.
He signed a five-year contract extension in the following season with the largest ever signing bonus given to an NFL tight end. While he missed several weeks for high ankle sprain, he registered 8 receptions for 58 yards, including two touchdowns, during the Monday Night Football game against the Houston Texans on December 10.
A 17-year-old Aaron Hernandez was involved in a bar fight at a restaurant in Gainesville, Florida, on April 28, 2007 after refusing to pay for a couple of drinks he took. He reportedly punched the employee who escorted him out, rupturing his eardrum, but the case was settled out of court with a deferred prosecution agreement.
He again faced legal troubles after he was investigated for the double murder of immigrants Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in Boston's South End on July 16, 2012. He was indicted of the two murders based on the testimony of a drug dealer, but was acquitted of most of the charges, including that of murders, on April 14, 2017, days before his death.
In June 2013, he was accused of shooting Alexander S. Bradley, a friend, during an altercation back in February, which allegedly cost him his right eye. The lawsuit was settled in February 2016, but he was indicted on witness intimidation charges for the Boston double murders. He was acquitted of these charges later during his 2017 trial.
Following the murder of Odin Lloyd, one of his friends, on June 17, 2013, in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, the police searched his house due to multiple suspicious activities, like destroying his home security system intentionally. Soon after, he was asked not to be near Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots' team management had decided to cut ties with him fearing his arrest.
On June 26, 2013, he was arrested by the police and was released from the Patriots team soon after, before he was charged with first-degree murder and five more gun-related charges later that day. After being indicted by a grand jury on August 22, 2013, he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder of Lloyd on September 6, 2013 and was held at the Bristol County Jail.
On April 15, 2015, he was found guilty of first-degree murder, as well as five fire arms charges, which according to state laws, resulted in life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was initially taken to the maximum-security facility, the Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction, but was later transferred to another maximum-security prison, the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, to serve his sentence.
Aaron Hernandez was found hanging by his bed-sheets from the window in his cell on April 19, 2017, and was declared dead after being taken to UMass Memorial Hospital-Leominster. Three handwritten notes were recovered from a Bible opened to John 3:16, and drawings in blood were found on the walls of his cell.
After his death, his lawyers filed a motion at Massachusetts Superior Court to vacate his murder conviction, which was granted on May 9, 2017. As he was in the process of appealing against his conviction, according to state laws, he technically died as an innocent man.
While the autopsy report declared his death as suicide, his family requested for the release of his brain for diagnosis at Boston University, which revealed that he had brain injuries consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Considering CTE is prevalent in footballers who suffer concussions repeatedly, his fiancée and daughter sued the Patriots and the NFL for causing his death and depriving his daughter of her father's companionship.
Personal Life & Legacy
Aaron Hernandez became romantically involved with Shayanna Jenkins in 2007, while still in high school. The two became engaged after their daughter, Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez, was born in November 2012, and moved to his $1.3 million four-story house in North Attleborough, Massachusetts soon after.
According to Aaron Hernandez's mother, losing his father in 2006, at the age of 16, following complications from hernia surgery, severely affected him and was a primary reason behind his rebellious nature.
During the trial of the double murders, rumors surfaced that he was conflicted about being gay.