Aaron Hernandez has swapped his $1.3m mansion for a 7ft by 10ft grim prison cell where the other inmates think he is a ‘punk’.
The former New England Patriots star, who was arrested last month for murder, is adjusting to life in the Bristol County House of Correction in Massachusetts, where he has less space than a bathroom in his old house.
He is locked down in solitary for 21 hours a day and is only allowed one hour of exercise a day in a cage-like pen with a guard watching him at all times.
His 6ft by 1inch frame is so large that he does not even fit on his standard issue metal bed (pictured below).
And gone are his Patriots nutritional consultants to ensure he is eating the right food – in their place are unhealthy muffins, grits for breakfast and burritos for dinner.
Inside his prison cell – which he has to keep neat at all times – is the metal bed with thin mattress, a pillow and a blanket, a combined toilet and sink with a seat that doesn’t fit and a small metal desk with a stool attached to it.
Each day begins with breakfast at 6am for Inmate No. 174594, formerly No. 81 for the Patriots, said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.
He said: ‘He’ll get an egg – one egg, and a portion of grits.
Nobody is asking Hernandez, 23, for autographs as prison guards have been told to treat him like anybody else.
Exercise cages: There are several exercise cages in the courtyard of the Bristol County House of Correction – this is where Hernandez gets to spend one hour a day outside to do pushups
Life of luxury: The former $1.3m house of New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez is pictured in North Attleborough, Massachusetts
‘He’d likely get a small muffin square and a choice between milk or juice. We actually serve Tang now to cut costs.
‘But believe it or not, it actually has a higher nutritional value than orange juice and it’s cheaper.’
For an extra refreshment Hernandez has to bend his head down and slurp out of the tap in the sink.
Other meals include a cheese burrito with bread and rice or rice and beans with green beans.
Each day Hernandez is allowed to leave his cell three times for an hour each time.
The morning hour is to take a shower in a small stall and make some collect phone calls. He also makes phone calls in his afternoon hour.
His exercise hour is at 5pm where he is led to the pen which is big enough for one inmate to do sit ups and press ups.
Meals: A recent lunch consisted of a burrito, bread, rice, and vegetables at the Bristol County House of Correction, where former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez is awaiting trial for first degree murder
Inside the facility: Hernandez spends 21 hours a day in a solitary 7ft by 10ft cell at Bristol County House of Correction (a common area pictured in the jail)
HERNANDEZ’S LIFE BEFORE PRISON
HERNANDEZ’S LIFE IN PRISON
When he is in his cell he reads a lot and was recently given a copy of Tuesdays With Morrie, the bestselling memoirs of writer Mitch Albom which has the words: ‘An old man, a young man, and life’s great lesson’ on the front cover.
In jail Hernandez’s former $40m contract is worth nothing – the maximum amount of money he is allowed to have in his commissary account is $80.
And because of fears he will be murdered by a gang member looking to make a name for themselves, Hernandez has to be kept in a ‘special management unit’ – which is effectively solitary.
Hodgson said that so far Hernandez has been a model prisoner and seemed ‘very comfortable’ even on the day he arrived.
Nevertheless, the difference between his life then and his life now is stark.
Hodgson said: ‘Every Sunday he went into a stadium where thousands of people cheered him and revered him.
Prison entrance: His cell includes a metal bed with thin mattress, a pillow and a blanket, a combined toilet and sink with a seat that doesn’t fit and a small metal desk
‘In an instant he walks through our door, gets a new uniform, a longer number, and nobody’s cheering for him.’
Hernandez was arrested for the murder of his friend Odin Lloyd, 27, who was shot dead on June 17 at an industrial area near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro, MA.
Prosecutors have not revealed the motive for the killing other than say that Lloyd was associating with people Hernandez did not like.
Within 90 minutes of him being arrested he was dropped by the Patriots.
Hernandez is also being investigated for having possible links to a separate double murder in Boston that left a third man wounded.
His fall from grace has been all the more astonishing because he had been set for a bright future – Hernandez’ $12.5m signing bonus to extend his contract to five years was the largest ever that an NFL tight end had received.
The Boston Globe reported that life inside the Bristol County House of Correction is about as far removed from such privilege as you can get.
One inmate told the newspaper: ‘He’s a punk’ whilst another called Hernandez a ‘bum’
He said: ‘I don’t care about him. I’m worried about myself.’
I have one question……..was it worth it? Just Sayin’