Despite being sentenced to life imprisonment, former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez apparently hadn’t given up hope on returning to the NFL shortly before he committed suicide April 19.
Hernandez’s prison file was made public by the Massachusetts Department of Correction and obtained by various media outlets, including NESN, through public records requests. In the file, an inmate who claimed to be close friends with Hernandez was quoted by investigators as saying, “he had been talking about the NFL and going back to play even if it wasn’t with the Pats.”
The inmate also said Hernandez “was a very spiritual guy who always quoted the Bible” and “talked about his daughter and spending time with her,” so there was “absolutely no indication he would do anything like that.”
It isn’t known how many inmates the DOC interviewed, as all names were redacted, but what they told investigators provided insight into Hernandez’s state of mind just before his death. Inmates cited as being “tight” or “real close” with Hernandez, according to the report, said he had become more spiritual toward the end of his life. Hernandez, one inmate said, noted people could be deemed not guilty if they died in prison during an appeal — Hernandez had been convicted of the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd — and another inmate told investigators the ex-Patriot told him “remember when you die your soul gets reincarnated.”
Yet another inmate revealed Hernandez asked him to do his laundry, as he expected a visit from his fiancée and his daughter. All inmates described as friendly with Hernandez expressed surprise at his suicide, saying “nothing out of the ordinary” was seen with him. One inmate did note, however, that after the not guilty verdict in his double murder trial, Hernandez was “happily emotional,” which he usually was not.
The DOC file also detailed discipline Hernandez received while in prison. He had been disciplined for getting into a fight with an inmate that was broken up with a chemical spray and for being the lookout in another fight.
Hernandez last was disciplined in October for having another inmate locked in his cell with him.
Thumbnail photo via The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports