Aaron Hernandez commits suicide in prison

Aaron Hernandez commits suicide in prison

The tragic story of Aaron Hernandez came to a gruesome end early Wednesday morning, when he committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell.

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Authorities at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass., found Hernandez hung in his cell at 3:05 a.m. The former Patriots tight end was rushed to UMASS Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. A statement from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said Hernandez had hanged himself using a bedsheet that he attached to his cell window, and had attempted to block entrance to his cell by "jamming the door with various items".

Officials said Hernandez left no suicide note.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. Just last Friday, he was acquitted on a double-murder charge after being accused of killing Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in July 2012. Much of the evidence against Hernandez in that case was the testimony of former friend Alexander Bradley, a convicted felon whom Hernandez allegedly shot through the eye in February 2013 in an attempt to silence him about the murders of de Abreu and Furtado.

Hernandez -- whose behavior and drug issues at the University of Florida caused him to drop to the fourth round of the NFL draft, where he was selected by New England -- played for the Patriots from 2010 through 2012, and signed a five-year, $40 million contract extension prior to the 2012 season. The team released him in June 2013, hours after he was arrested and charged with Lloyd's killing.

The Patriots -- who are visiting the White House today to celebrate their Super Bowl LI championship -- said they would have no comment on the suicide.

Hernandez, 27, is survived by a 4-year-old daughter, Avielle; his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez; his mother, and an older brother.

The DOC statement, via mmqb.si.com's Albert Breer:

 

 

Dont'a Hightower off PUP, returns to Patriots practice

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Dont'a Hightower off PUP, returns to Patriots practice

FOXBORO -- On Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, Dont’a Hightower was in uniform and practicing with his teammates for the first time since training camp began last month. Hightower's participation means he has been removed from the physically unable to perform list. 

In full pads, wearing Alabama crimson underneath his Patriots jersey, Hightower took part in drills with on-the-line players early in the practice. Members of the media were able to watch only a few minutes of the workout following warm-ups. 

The players Hightower worked in with comes as little surprise as he has been used at the end of the line in certain packages in the past. With David Harris now in the mix at linebacker, and with Rob Ninkovich retired, it could free up Hightower to play more on the end of the line. 

Nate Solder, Deatrich Wise and LaAdrian Waddle were all back on the practice field for the Patriots Tuesday as well. Solder has yet to play this preseason, while Wise suffered a head injury in the team’s preseason-opener against the Jaguars. Waddle sustained a head injury last week.

Missing from the session were Rex Burkhead as well as Malcolm Mitchell, Matthew Slater, Shea McClellin, Tony Garcia, Matt Lengel, Derek Rivers and Andrew Jelks (non-football injury list).  

Burkhead seemed to finish Saturday's game in Houston without incident. He spoke to reporters on Monday, and there were no indications he was dealing with any physical limitations. Mitchell seemed to tweak something in his knee on his first play against the Texans, but he stayed in the game and caught two passes for 13 yards. 

Patriots documentary 'Do Your Job Part 2' debuts Sept. 3

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Patriots documentary 'Do Your Job Part 2' debuts Sept. 3

The Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title in 2014 brought with it an NFL Films' documentary titled "Do Your Job", named for the Belichickian mantra that continues to fuel New England's unprecedented run of success.

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So, naturally, title No. 5 has spawned "Do Your Job, Part 2," which features interviews with Bill Belichick and other members of the coaching staff and recaps another championship run - that included the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history - the 28-3 deficit the Pats wiped out against the Falcons in February. The hour-long special will premiere on NBC Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Academy-award nominated actor Edward Norton, a Boston native, is the narrator. 

The special re-airs on NFL Network on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m., followed by the "America's Game" episode that focuses on the 2016 Pats at 9 and the "NFL's Top 10", which will count down Tom Brady's 10 best games, at 10.

The Patriots open the regular season Thursday, Sept. 7, at Gillette Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. They'll raise their fifth Super Bowl championship banner in ceremonies before the game.