Officials are stating that former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez has been placed on suicide watch. This comes just days after Hernandez was convicted of murdering a friend, Odin Lloyd, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Aaron Hernandez is currently being held at the MCI Cedar Junction facility in Walpole, Massachusetts awaiting transfer to the Souza-Baranowkis prison, which will become his permanent home. Authorities have not stated what prompted the change in status for Aaron or whether or not there was a specific threat or behavior that indicated Hernandez was suicidal. Officials state that it is not uncommon for famous prisoners such as Hernandez to be isolated from the general population for their own safety.
Aaron Hernandez was a talented tight end drafted by the New England Patriots in 2010. Hernandez’ troubled past lead to a contract contingent on good behavior with the Patriots. The Patriots were well aware of Hernandez’ failed drug tests as a player at the University of Florida as well as previous run-ins with the law.
Hernandez towed the line as a rookie, attending meetings as required and passing routine drug tests. In 2012, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a five-year $40 million contract extension, one of the most lucrative deals in NFL history. Just a year later, Hernandez was in jail awaiting trial for murder.
It only took jurors thirty-five hours of deliberation to reach a consensus on the conviction of Hernandez. Jury members met Thursday night with CNN‘s Anderson Cooper to discuss the verdict. Several members stated that they were upset at the amount of indifference shown by Aaron Hernandez both during the shooting and the aftermath.
The life sentence stunned Hernandez‘ fellow players, with many taking to Twitter after the announcement. Buffalo Bills linebacker and former Patriot teammate Brandon Spikes stated he was “confused” about the justice system, indicating he believed in Aaron’s innocence and several others seemed to think the sentence was too harsh. Perhaps it was former Ohio Buckeye Maurice Clarett who had the most accurate observation, however.
Aaron Hernandez is trying to hold it together right now. It’s gone hurt when he goes back to his cell. I know the feeling.
— Maurice Clarett (@ReeseClarett13) April 15, 2015
The trial, which lasted nearly three months, was said to have taken an “emotional toll” on the jury members according to jury foreperson Lesa Strachan. But it seems to be the conviction and sentencing that has taken the emotional toll on Aaron Hernandez.
[Image courtesy of Jared Wickerham/Getty Images]