Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his prison cell earlier this week, and now fans are learning that the former NFL player left behind his fiance and their small child.
According to a report by Hollywood Life, Aaron Hernandez was set to marry Shayanna Jenkins prior to his death, and the couple shared one child in daughter Avielle Janelle Jenkins-Hernandez.
On April 19, the outlet told fans that the couple met in 2007 while attending college at the University Of Florida. As fans of the late football star will recall, Aaron Hernandez played for the Florida Gators during his time at the school.
Although Aaron Hernandez and Shayanna Jenkins never tied the knot, they had been engaged since November 2012; the same month that they welcomed daughter Avielle. In 2015, as Hernandez remained incarcerated, Jenkins legally took his last name.
Despite the murder charges against Aaron Hernandez, Jenkins chose to stick by his side. In fact, even after he was accused of killing two different men and injuring a third on the way to a strip club, Jenkins remained committed.
Although the injured man, Alexander Bradley, claimed Aaron Hernandez was the one who shot his eye out, Hernandez was ultimately found not guilty of the double homicide.
Later that year, Aaron Hernandez was charged with the murder of Shayanna Jenkins’ sister’s boyfriend, Olin Lloyd. According to the Hollywood Life report, Shaneah Jenkins reached out to her sister for comfort but was instead met with odd and “secretive” behavior. Then, when the murder case went to trial in 2015, Shayanna and Shaneah Jenkins were seated on opposite sides of the courtroom.
While Shayanna Jenkins stayed committed to Aaron Hernandez in the midst of his hard times, she did testify during the trial and told prosecutors that the athlete had asked her to “go downstairs in our storage and remove a box from our home” the day after Odin Lloyd was murdered. As she recalled, Jenkins took the box and discarded of its contents in a “random dumpster.”
Earlier this year, Shayanna Jenkins testified again and admitted to finding a gun in the home she once shared with Aaron Hernandez. However, she never confronted Hernandez about the weapon.
In a separate Hollywood Life report, it was noted that Aaron Hernandez’s former home is currently on the market in Boston for $1.5 million. As for Jenkins, she has moved out of the home and is now living in Rhode Island with their 4-year-old daughter.
Although Aaron Hernandez and Shayanna Jenkins were engaged with plans to get married, Jenkins admitted that their relationship was far from perfect during his double homicide trial.
“I made a decision that if I was going to move back in with Aaron, I was going to have to kind of compromise on his behavior and that included infidelity and everything that came along with it,” she noted.
Aaron Hernandez was found hanging in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center on Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, the facility released a statement to press.
“[Aaron Hernandez] hanged himself utilizing a bed sheet that he attached to his cell window,” the statement, shared by Boston Globe, explained. “Mr. Hernandez also attempted to block his door from the inside by jamming the door with various items. The Massachusetts State Police are on scene and the investigation continues. Mr. Hernandez’s next of kin have been notified.”
The New England Patriots have not yet issued a statement in regard to Aaron Hernandez’s death.
[Featured Image by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]