Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell Wednesday morning, reportedly by hanging himself from the window using a bed sheet.
Leslie Walker, executive director of the nonprofit Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, believes it’s the first successful suicide by that method at the maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.
Walker told The Boston Globe on Wednesday that Massachusetts had a high suicide rate among prisoners 10 years ago but that the state has worked on “suicide-proofing” its facilities. At Souza-Baranowski’s maximum-security facility, according to Walker, that means the windows are small rectangles about 3 feet above the ground, and their frames are flush with the glass, so there’s no easy way to tie a sheet to the metal.
“It’s designed as a supermax prison, so it’s mostly cement and then the frame around the window is metal,” Walker told The Globe. “I imagine there would be an opportunity to figure out a way to pry that metal, but I had not heard of it before.”
“There is not a ledge, so I don’t think he could have jumped off the ledge. But there is a desk built into the wall close to the window.”
Hernandez’s lawyer and agent both believe the former New England Patriots tight end wasn’t suicidal, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they use Walker’s fact to back up their claims, although Walker never said the suicide method was impossible.
Walker said most inmates at Souza-Baranowski spend 19 hours in their cells every day.
Thumbnail photo via pool photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via USA TODAY Sports Images