(WPRI) — As the news of Aaron Hernandez’s death spread Wednesday morning, people had a wide range of reactions.
Prison officials said Hernandez hanged himself with bedsheets inside his prison cell.
Hernandez’s former agent Brian Murphy and his lawyer Jose Baez expressed disbelief upon hearing the news.
Murphy tweeted that there was “absolutely no chance he took his own life.”
Baez, who successfully got Hernandez acquitted of double murder in Boston and was planning to represent him in his appeal of the Odin Lloyd case, said his firm would be conducting a private investigation into the case.
“The family and legal team is shocked and surprised at the news of Aaron’s death,” Baez said in a statement. “There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible. Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who had custody over Hernandez while he awaited trial in the Lloyd case, also said he was surprised. Hodgson said he had many one-on-one conversations with Hernandez.
“Very strong mind,” Hodgson said in an interview Wednesday. “Almost a mental trap.” Hodgson said he was surprised to see Hernandez crying after his acquittal last week, because he never knew him to be emotional.
“I wonder if the verdict, the jurors coming down with that kind of a verdict was the one emotion he couldn’t really absorb,” Hodgson said.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, whose office prosecuted the 2015 murder case, released a short statement about Hernandez’s death.
“This is a shocking and sad end to a very tragic series of events that has negatively impacted a number of families,” Quinn said.