Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez died after hanging himself in his prison cell Wednesday morning.

Prison officials confirmed Hernandez's death in a statement.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd. He was acquitted of a double murder only days ago.

Guards discovered the 27-year-old Hernandez in his single cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m. the Massachusetts Department of Corrections said.

The former University of Florida and NFL star was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster.

Hernandez was in a maximum security state prison not far from the Patriots' home, which is in Foxborough, Mass.

The corrections officers said hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window.

Hernandez was emotional Friday as the jury read a not guilty verdict acquitting Hernandez of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.