Lawrence Phillips charged with murder of prison cellmate – Yahoo Sports (blog)

Lawrence Phillips, once one of the biggest stars in college football and a top-10 NFL draft pick, has been charged with first-degree murder.

In April, Phillips was investigated in the death of his cellmate, 37-year-old Damion Soward, who was strangled to death at Kern Valley State Prison in California. Now Phillips has been charged with murder, according to The Associated Press. The prosecuting attorney told USA Today she will not seek the death penalty in the case.

Phillips is serving 31 years for two separate incidents. In 2005 he twice choked his girlfriend. Later that year he attacked three teens with his car after a pickup football game. Soward, who TMZ reported is the cousin of former NFL first-round pick R. Jay Soward, was serving 82 years to life for first-degree murder.

Phillips is one of the NFL’s all-time off-field character issue warning tales. The St. Louis Rams somehow thought it was a good idea to draft the talented running back sixth overall in 1996, even after he allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend. Phillips was an enormous bust after that, never showing the ability he displayed during a controversial career at the University of Nebraska.

Phillips’ story then took a much sadder turn once his football career was done.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!


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