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Elise Amendola, AP
A policeman guards an entrance to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Shirley, Mass. Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself at the prison early Wednesday, Massachusetts prisons officials said. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON — Aaron Hernandez’s apparent suicide in prison — just days after the former NFL star was cleared of additional murder charges — remains shrouded in mystery.
Why now? Is there more to the story? What happens to his estate?
Authorities offered few answers after Hernandez was found hanging from a bedsheet Wednesday in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts, where he was serving a life sentence for the 2013 slaying of a onetime friend.
His death came hours before his former New England Patriots teammates visited the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory. Hernandez, 27, died five days after a jury acquitted him in the 2012 shooting deaths of two men whom prosecutors alleged he gunned down after one accidentally spilled a drink on him at a Boston nightclub.
The apparent suicide left friends, family and his legal team shocked and in disbelief. Many were searching for an explanation to the tragic end of a young man whose football skills at one point earned him a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the NFL’s top franchise.
“There were no conversations or correspondence from Aaron to his family or legal team that would have indicated anything like this was possible,” said his attorney, Jose Baez. “Aaron was looking forward to an opportunity for a second chance to prove his innocence. Those who love and care about him are heartbroken and determined to find the truth surrounding his untimely death.”
Guards found Hernandez shortly after 3…