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The Tragic Story of Aaron Hernadez: A 25-year-old living the dream life in the NFL, now serving life in prison

April 20, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
The Tragic Story of Aaron Hernadez: A 25-year-old living the dream life in the NFL, now serving life in prison

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Sometimes you can take a kid out of the street, but you can’t take the street out of the kid.

Aaron Hernandez’s star was on the rise playing in the NFL. He was a vital part of the New England Patriots offense anchored by superstar quarterback Tom Brady. He had just signed a massive $40 million dollar contract extension and became a father to a baby girl.

Hernandez’s life was one many dreamed of having. However, prior to the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, which will see him spend the rest of his days in a prison cell. The 25-year-old’s life had taken a wrong track.

Lloyd’s shooting wasn’t his first foray in his criminal career; it’s just the first time he had gotten caught. Hernandez is now a suspect in a string of shootings.

Aaron Hernandez photo of Aaron Hernandez throwing up gang signs often associated with the Bristol Bloods street gang in Connecticut

Photo of Aaron Hernandez throwing up gang signs often associated with the Bristol Bloods street gang in Connecticut

Following his father’s death, Hernandez lost the one figure in his life that kept him on the right path. According to family and friends, growing up in his town of Bristol, Connecticut, Hernandez had mixed with the wrong crowd. His attraction to the thug-life combined with his increased use of drugs and alcohol would lead him on the path, which would see him sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Prior to his arrest, Hernandez had at least three major brushes with the law. In every instance, he escaped being charged.

Hernandez is arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd

Hernandez is arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd

Growing up in the rough streets of Bristol, Connecticut, when Hernandez left for college, he refused to leave the street mentality behind. Hernandez kept a gang affiliation; this was evident in a 2013 Rolling Stone article, which pointed out that Hernandez got a tattoo of the Bloods after he started making big money in the NFL.

Rolling Stone claimed although Hernandez found success in the NFL, as his career matured he grew distant from his family and kept more of a gang-related element around him. Hernandez became increasingly paranoid and always carried a gun with him where ever he went.

A close family friend of Hernandez told Rolling Stone he chose to hang out with gangster types rather than his teammates or other athletes. His family became aware that he began smoking angel dust, which they claim is what led to Lloyd’s murder.

“Don’t matter what it was about, Aaron was out of his mind and he has was twisted on dust for over a year. That’s when all of this crazy s*** began,” Hernandez family friend claimed.

Additionally, the magazine claimed that Hernandez’s gang affiliation and the company he kept around him caught the attention of Patriots coach Bill Bellichek.

According to Rolling Stone, at the time of his arrest, the Patriots were on the verge of cutting Hernandez because of his alleged involvement.

The friend says that an uncle of Hernandez had traveled up to Boston to have a talk with Hernandez when he arrived at his house, “he came across theses intimidating looking guys, who were hanging in his game room.”

“His uncle said they didn’t say even acknowledge him with a hello or a handshake. He mentioned it to Aaron, and he just laughed him off,”‘ the friend told Rolling Stone. Hernandez idolized his father growing up. Denis Hernandez was also a star high school athlete and like his son, he had his brushes with the law as a teenager.

Dennis Hernandez was a prep school star in Bristol

Dennis Hernandez as a H.S. prep school star in Bristol

According to Aaron’s former high school coaches, his father always made sure his son stayed on the straight-and-narrow. However, after his death in January 2006, due to complications from a routine surgical procedure, Aaron changed.

Hernandez mother, Terri explained her son’s reaction to his father’s death in an interview with the USA Today.

“He became disengaged, It was very, very hard, and he was outraged.
Aaron was not the same, he spoke to me differently, in dealing with the shock of losing his father, he had so much pent up anger,” Terri Hernandez said.

However, his father’s death didn’t affect Hernandez’s performance on the field. After being named Connecticut State Football Player of the Year, he gained the attention of Urban Meyer, coach of the University of Florida Gators.

In 2006, Hernandez accepted a football scholarship from Urban Meyer, who would personally counsel him during his career as a Gator. Meyer also entrusted non-other than Heisman Trophy winning Quarterback Tim Tebow to mentor Aaron, in a bid to keep him on the right path.

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Hernandez with college coach Urban Meyer during their victory in the 2009 Championship Game

Meyer’s work produced positive results on the field. Hernandez helped lead the Gators to a national championship over Oklahoma in 2009. However, the successes on the field also came with problems off the field. In 2007, then 17-year-old Hernandez was escorted outside a Gainesville Bar after refusing to pay for drinks. Once outside the college star turned, and sucker punched the waiter, busting the man’s eardrum.

Police wanted to charge Hernandez with a felony assault. However, Meyer intervened in the matter, and Hernandez avoided being arrested. Police then questioned Hernandez the same year for a drive-by shooting of two men, one of them shot in the head after a fight with his college teammates at a Florida nightclub.

Hernandez was never charged and Police made no arrests in connection with the shootings. In 2008, Meyer suspended Hernandez for the first game of the season after testing positive for marijuana.

Rolling Stone reported that the number of drug violations was more pronounced than the school reported, which is why they never publically released the results.

After declaring for the 2010 NFL Draft, Hernandez’s talent could have earned him a pick in the first round. However, many teams steered away from him because of his pension for trouble, failed drug tests and rumored gang affiliation, which saw him drop to the Patriots in the fourth round.

Friends claim that Hernandez returning to the New England area enabled him to reconnect and associate again with the bad influences he had around him growing up.

In three seasons with the Patriots, Hernandez caught 18 touchdowns playing tight end, six in his rookie year and made an appearance in the 2012 Super Bowl. His stellar play earned him a new five-year contract extension worth almost $40 million, with a signing bonus worth over $12 million in 2012, which is when things quickly unraveled.

Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28 found shot to death inside their vehicle

Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28 found shot to death inside their vehicle

In July 2012, the same year he signed his whopping contract extension, Hernandez was involved in a fight at a nighclub with two men identified as Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, 28. Police later found both men murdered in their car after an apparent drive-by shooting in South Boston. Prosecutors would indict Hernandez in 2014 for the killings, he faces trial later this year.

A former associate of Hernandez, Alexander Bradley filed a lawsuit the same month as Lloyd’s murder. Bradley claimed Hernandez shot him in the mouth after a fight in a Miami strip club back in February 2013. Bradley lost an eye in the shooting and would end up testifying against Hernandez at his murder trial.

Alexander Bradley  claims Hernandez shot him during altercation in Miami

Alexander Bradley claims Hernandez shot him during altercation in Miami

After his arrest for Lloyd’s murder in June of 2013, Hernandez was involved in a fight in Prison, where he threatened a jail guard. He was later indicted on those charges and faces trial for them, as well.

Hernandez now sits in prison for the rest of his natural life; prison officials placed him on suicide watch for unspecified reasons. The tragic story of a 25-year-old kid who took what he had for granted and went from commanding a $10 million per year contract playing in the NFL to commanding a prison commissary.

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