- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Former New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez, behind bars for the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, said he doesn’t mind the prison life — it’s actually more peaceful than professional football.

“I’m way less stressed in jail than when I was out of jail,” Mr. Hernandez wrote, in a two-page letter from his cell, The Daily Mail reported. “I’m just anxious to go to trial to see what’s up and prove my innocence.”

Mr. Hernandez, 24, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, and to five weapons charges, during a September hearing. He was denied bond. The body of Mr. Lloyd, one of his acquaintances, was found about a mile from his North Attleborough, Mass., home on June 17.

But the months behind bars have been kind to Mr. Hernandez.

In his letter to his friend, first reported by TMZ, the ex-football star wrote that his corrections officer “hasn’t seen me in a bad mood yet and I really enjoy my days. It’s not that bad, honestly. I’m just hoping I am out within these next few years, to get a chance to ball again.”

He spends his time reading, Mr. Hernandez said, The Daily Mail reported.

“[I’m] using this time to become strong, wiser and trying to come out, when I come home, way more intelligent, which I will,” he wrote in the letter.

At the same time, Mr. Hernandez said he does have some regrets — he could have “made better choices with my selected few (friends),” he wrote, for instance. But “it’s life, you live and learn,” he added.

Mr. Hernandez is kept in a special section of the prison that doesn’t allow for mingling with other inmates. He is allowed outside only three hours a day, The Daily Mail reported.

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Mr. Hernandez is being investigated over the July 2012 deaths of Danny Abreau and Safiro Furtado, who were killed shortly after leaving a night club in Boston.

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