Former Patriots star Aaron Hernandez found hanged in his prison cell

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was found dead hanging in his cell on Wednesday morning, prison officials confirmed.

Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd. He was found not guilty Friday in an separate 2012 double slaying.

According to a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Hernandez hanged himself in his cell.

The statement, issued by Christopher M. Fallon, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Communications for the Massachusetts Department of Correction, read:

On April 19, 2017 Aaron Hernandez was discovered hanged in his cell by corrections officers at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley Massachusetts at approximately 3:05 a.m., lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez and he was transported to UMASS Leominster where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. by a physician at the hospital. Mr. Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population unit. Mr. Hernandez hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window. Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts Polices are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.

The statement says Hernandez was housed alone at the time and used a bedsheet tied to a window. Authorities also say he tried to jam his cell door shut from the inside.

His longtime agent, Brian Murphy, expressed skepticism about Hernandez’s death being a suicide in a tweet, and Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said in a statement that Massachusetts State Police detectives and the Department of Correction are investigating his death.

Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, said his legal team will conduct its own investigation into the death.

In an email to FOX Sports, Patriots spokesperson Stacey James wrote that the team was aware of reports, but didn’t anticipate commenting today.