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Aaron Hernandez in prison: 'This is not the Ritz,' sheriff says

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   July 18, 2013 at 7:37 PM   |   Comments

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July 18 (UPI) -- Aaron Hernandez has gone from being the New England Patriots' No. 81 tight end to Inmate No. 174594, as he adjusts to life behind bars at Bristol County House of Correction in Massachusetts. The former NFL star, who was released by the Patriots last month, will live at the prison while he awaits trial on a first-degree murder charge.

Speaking to the Boston Globe on Tuesday, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said that Hernandez's life in prison "is not the Ritz." It's a far cry from his $40 million contract and glamourous lifestyle as a player for the Patriots.

“Every Sunday he went into a stadium where thousands of people cheered him and revered him,’’ Hodgson said. “In an instant he walks through our door, gets a new uniform, a longer number, and nobody’s cheering for him.”

Hodgson said that Hernandez has been kept away from other inmates out of concerns that celebrity would put him in danger.

The sheriff added that the 23-year-old athlete and murder suspect has been a "perfect" prisoner.

I met with him when he first came in to lay the rules out. I said, ‘Here’s the deal. You won’t be treated any better or worse or get any special privileges here. If you have any issues or problems, tell command.’ He was very polite and very respectful. He didn’t seem nervous, he seemed very comfortable.

Hernandez was arrested in connection with the death of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who died of multiple gunshot wounds on June 17.

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