Lawrence Phillips Prison Murder: Former NFL RB Suspected of Killing Cellmate

lawrence phillips prison murder

Former Nebraska Cornhuskers star-turned-NFL washout Lawrence Phillips is suspected of murdering his cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison in central California.

Damion Soward, a 37-year-old inmate serving 82 years for first degree murder, was found dead early Saturday morning. On Monday, prison officials announced they believe Phillips is responsible. However, they declined to explain how Soward died, or why they believe Phillips is to blame—aside from the obvious fact that the two were locked in a cell together and Phillips was the only other person there.

Phillips, 39, is currently serving 31 years for two incidents in 2005 that resulted in numerous assault convictions. In one, he ran over a group of teens with his car following a pick-up football game. In another, he choked and imprisoned his then-girlfriend.

Of course, these were hardly Phillips’ first run-ins with the law. During his time at Nebraska, he was twice arrested for assault. In one instance, the victim was his girlfriend, a fellow Nebraska student-athlete. However, Nebraska coach Tom Osborne made the controversial decision not to kick Phillips off the team, and the St. Louis Rams made the controversial decision to draft him with the #6 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft.

Both were poor decisions. Phillips proved again and again he could not be rehabilitated. He played just three seasons in the NFL, then bounced around NFL Europe and the CFL before hanging it up in 2003. Two years later he was in prison where he belonged all along.

So a Lawrence Phillips prison murder? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Hat Tip – [ESPN]

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