All-American at both high school and the University of Florida, Aaron Hernandez would go on to be an NFL tight end for the New England Patriots and play in Super Bowl XLVI. His stellar football career would come to an abrupt end and be eclipsed when he was charged with the murder of semi-pro footballer Odin Lloyd. Convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, two years later Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell.
Below are key dates in the life of Hernandez:
November 6, 1989: Aaron Josef Hernandez is born in Bristol, Connecticut
The second son of Dennis Hernandez and Terri Valentine-Hernandez. Aaron was reportedly sexually abused as a child, and with his mother and brother Jonathan suffered physical abuse at the hands of his father, according to The Boston Globe.
January 6, 2006: Hernandez's father dies from complications following routine hernia surgery. The Bristol Central High School student reportedly turned to using drugs after the death of his father. He is named a high-school All-American after catching 24 touchdowns.
January 2007: Hernandez enrolls at the University of Florida having graduated high school early
April 2007: A 17-year-old Hernandez punches an employee at a Gainesville bar. Teammate Tim Tebow tries to intervene and break up the altercation, according to the police report. Hernandez was not charged.
September 30, 2007: Hernandez is questioned by police after a shooting in Gainesville leaves two men wounded. No charges were filed.
January 8, 2009: Hernandez and the Gators defeat the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 to earn the school's second BCS championship in three years.
January 6, 2010: Having received the John Mackey Award as the nation’s best collegiate tight end for his junior season at Florida, Hernandez announces he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft. Later Hernandez would admit to failing one drug test while at the University of Florida.
April 23, 2010: Hernandez is drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the NFL Draft
During his rookie year, Hernandez would score six touchdowns on 563 receiving yards alongside quarterback Tom Brady. In his second season, he helps the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI where they lose to the New York Giants 21-17.
July 16, 2012: Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado are shot to death in their car during a drive-by shooting in Boston's South End neighborhood.
August 27, 2012: Hernandez signs a five-year, $40 million contract extension with the Patriots
“This place changed me as a person, because you can’t come here and act reckless,” Hernandez said at the time. “I was one of those persons. I came here and might have acted the way I wanted to act. But you get changed by Bill Belichick's. You get changed by the Patriot Way.”
November 6, 2012: Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, gives birth to the couple’s daughter, Avielle.
February 2013: Hernandez's friend Alexander Bradley is shot in the face after partying with Hernandez at a Miami strip club. Bradley later files a lawsuit alleging Hernandez was the shooter.
June 17, 2013: The body of Odin Lloyd is found near Hernandez's mansion in North Attleborough, Massachusetts
Police trace evidence back to Hernandez – Odin was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancée – even though the athlete destroys his cell phone and surveillance footage from his home.
June 26, 2013: Hernandez is led from his home in handcuffs and charged with first-degree murder and five firearms violations.
The Patriots announce his release less than two hours after his arrest.
September 6, 2013: Hernandez pleads not guilty to the murder of Lloyd.
May 15, 2014: Hernandez is indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the 2012 shootings of de Abreu and Furtado. He pleads not guilty. The same month, Hernandez is also charged with assault following a fight with a fellow prison inmate.
January 9, 2015: Hernandez goes on trial for the murder of Lloyd.
April 15, 2015: Hernandez is found guilty of first-degree murder
The sentence carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
May 11, 2015: Hernandez is indicted on a witness intimidation charge relating to the 2013 shooting of Bradley.
February 14, 2017: Hernandez goes on trial for murder in the 2012 killings of de Abreu and Furtado
He is acquitted of the double homicide on April 14.
April 19, 2017: Hernandez is found hanging by a bedsheet in his prison cell at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts
Hernandez is pronounced dead shortly after 4 a.m. He was 27.
September 21, 2017: It is revealed Hernandez had been suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease, at the time of his death. Caused by repeated head trauma, symptoms of CTE can include mood swings and cognitive confusion. Hernandez had a history of concussion-related injuries during his football career.