Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez hangs self in MA prison cell

Hernandez apparently jammed the door to prevent officers from entering, didn't leave a suicide note and wasn't on suicide watch because he didn't appear to be at risk, according to prison officials.

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File).

This is where things could conceivably get complicated for the National Football League, the Patriots, and Hernandez's family.

Why now? Is there more to the story?

Last week, Hernandez was found not guilty of two murders dating back to 2012.

His death came hours before his former New England Patriots teammates visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.

Legally speaking, Aaron Hernandez may have become a free man in his death.

The apparent suicide left friends, family and his legal team shocked and in disbelief. Hernandez's attorney, Jose Baez, said his firm also will launch its own investigation.

"Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence" in an appeal of the 2013 verdict, Baez said.

He was taken to a nearby hospital in Leominster, Massachusetts, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m. Wednesday.

They're calling it a suicide, but an autopsy will be conducted later this week in Boston. Otherwise, he would have been transferred to a mental health unit, Fallon said.

The Worcester County district attorney's office and the Correction Department are investigating. Jenkins-Hernandez has yet to issue a public comment, nor has Hernandez's brother or mother.

In light of Hernandez's death, the state will probably vacate Hernandez's conviction in the coming months.

Hernandez played three seasons with the Patriots as a valued tight end.

In June 2013, the Patriots withheld $3.25 million of Hernandez's signing bonus and refused to pay his $2.5 million in guaranteed base salary.

Why was Hernandez in prison? Last Friday, Hernandez was acquitted in the deadly 2012 drive-by shootings of two men in Boston. That year he got engaged to his girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, who was pregnant with their first child, a baby girl they named Avielle.

Lloyd was shot six times and died in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home.

"I just think it got to him - the guilt", Mixson Philip said.

Friends also were grieving in CT, where Hernandez was raised.

"Especially after him getting acquitted of the double murder. His agent actually texted me and said he would never kill himself". "Something just doesn't add up", added cousin Randy Garcia.