Once one of the best paid players in the NFL, Hernandez was found unconscious in his cell at around 3am local time on Wednesday.
"Lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez, and he was transported to UMass Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.", reads the correction department's statement.
Aaron Hernandez had the Bible verse "John 3:16" scrawled on his forehead when he was found dead in his prison cell Wednesday, reports say.
State police are on the scene and his next of kin have been notified, officials said.
"The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron's death", Baez said.
He says Hernandez was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence in the 2013 slaying of Odin Lloyd.
The New England Patriots learned of former tight end Aaron Hernandez's apparent suicide as they prepared to go to the White House to celebrate their fifth Super Bowl title.
Last Friday, Hernandez was acquitted in the deadly 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston. Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fianc￩e Shayanna Jenkins.
Prosecutors suggested Lloyd may have been killed to keep him quiet about the 2012 Boston killings.
He died nearly exactly two years after he was sentenced to life without parole for murdering a semi-pro football player in 2013 and five days after he was acquitted of double murder in a separate Boston killing in 2012.
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In his short three-year career, Hernandez totaled 175 receptions, 1,956 receiving yards, and 18 receiving touchdowns.
- July 16, 2012: Two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, are shot to death in their vehicle as they wait at a red light in Boston's South End neighborhood.
February: Hernandez's former friend Alexander Bradley alleged that he got into an argument with Hernandez after leaving a Florida strip club and was shot between the eyes and dumped in an industrial area.
Hernandez was given a life sentence without parole. He later pleads not guilty. The Patriots released him nine days after Lloyd's body was found.
Hernandez's death swung the spotlight back on a long line of crimes to tarnish the image of the National Football League, most infamously by star running back O.J. Simpson.
Aaron Hernandez very likely won't be known as a convicted murderer for much longer.
- April 15, 2015: Hernandez is convicted of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.
February 14, 2017: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado.
July 26: Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu were shot and killed as they sat in a vehicle at a stop light in Boston.
The one-time Patriots tight end was in a solitary cell in general population housing and had not been considered at risk of suicide.