Funeral Held for Ex-NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Who Was Found Hanging in Prison Cell After Acquittal

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A private funeral service was held on April 24, 2017 for Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriots tight end, who was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts last week. (Credit: WTIC via CNN)

Mourners said their goodbyes on Monday to ex-NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was convicted of murder in 2015 and killed himself in his prison cell last week.

A private funeral service was held on April 24, 2017 for Aaron Hernandez, former New England Patriots tight end, who was found hanged in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts last week. (Credit: WTIC via CNN)

Also on Monday, a Massachusetts Superior Court Justice ordered Hernandez’s purported suicide notes released to this family in time for the private funeral service in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.

Hernandez, 27, the former tight end for the New England Patriots was found hanged in his cell early Wednesday morning. Authorities said he committed suicide. Three handwritten notes were found in the cell next to a Bible authorities said then.

The notes released to Hernandez’s family were of a personal nature, but not all were necessarily written to members of Hernandez’s family, said Paul Jarvey, a spokesman from the Worcester County district attorney’s office.

In a brief statement after the service, Hernandez’s family thanked the public for their condolences and said they wished to memorialize him in private, CNN affiliate WTNH reported.

“They love him and they miss him,” Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan, who was working with attorney Jose Baez on Hernandez’s defense, said reading the statement.

In this file photo, Aaron Hernandez is escorted into the courtroom of the Attleboro District Court for his hearing on August 22, 2013 in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. (Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steeler Center Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother Mike, a center with the Miami Dolphins, attended Hernandez’s funeral. The brothers were teammates with Hernandez at the University of Florida.

Hernandez was a fourth-round draft pick in 2010 and signed a contract extension worth up to $40 million in 2012.

Less than a year later he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to life without possibility of parole on April 15, 2015.

This month, he was acquitted of two other murders.

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