Former NFL Player Charged With Killing Cellmate Lawrence Phillips is already serving 31 years for choking his girlfriend and more By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Sep 2, 2015 6:09 PM CDT 16 comments Comments Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips, seen here while playing for Nebraska in 1996, has been charged with murdering his prison cellmate. (AP Photo/Eric Draper, File) (Newser) – Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been charged with strangling his cellmate while locked up at Kern Valley State Prison in California. Phillips, 40, is in the midst of a 31-year sentence for choking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens following a pickup football game. He's now facing a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of 37-year-old Damion Soward in April. Phillips was a top college player at Nebraska before playing for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers over a three-year professional career.