US killer, ex-gridiron star in prison suicide

Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez and defence attorney wait in the courtroom during the jury deliberation in his first murder trial in April, 2015. (Reuters photo)

BOSTON - Former gridiron football star Aaron Hernandez hanged himself Wednesday in the prison cell where he was serving a life sentence for murder, hours before his ex-teammates on the New England Patriots visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory, authorities said.

His death came just days after the 27-year-old athlete was acquitted in a second murder case.

Guards found Hernandez shortly after 3am local time, Correction Department spokesman Christopher Fallon said. The one-time tight end was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead about an hour later.

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