Ex-NFL Player Accused of Killing Cellmate

Lawrence Phillips is already serving 31-year sentence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2015 12:45 AM CDT
In this Jan. 2, 1996, photo, Nebraska's Lawrence Phillips runs for a touchdown against Florida during the Fiesta Bowl college football game in Tempe, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File)
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(Newser) – Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison, officials say. Phillips' cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless early Saturday and later pronounced dead, a prison spokesman says. Phillips, 39, was once one of the nation's top college football players at the University of Nebraska. He played for the St. Louis Rams until being released in 1997 for insubordination. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

Phillips is serving a sentence of more than 31 years. He was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year of driving his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. He's suspected of killing Damion Soward, a 37-year-old inmate from San Bernardino County serving 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction. Prison officials say they suspect a second inmate at the prison of killing his cellmate. It's unclear if the two deaths are related.

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