Ex-NFL Player Strangled Cellmate: Coroner - NBC Bay Area

Ex-NFL Player Strangled Cellmate: Coroner

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    Ex-NFL Player Strangled Cellmate: Coroner
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    Lawrence Phillips in custody in 2005

    Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips killed his cellmate by strangling him, authorities said Thursday.

    The Kern County Coroner released the new details in the homicide of Damion Soward, 37, at the Kern Valley State Prison. The coroner’s report states that Soward died of neck compression asphyxia.

    Phillips, 39, is charged with Soward’s murder and is currently being held in a segregation unit at the prison.

    Phillips is already serving a 31-year sentence for multiple charges, including spousal abuse and auto theft, officials said.

    Phillips was once one of the nation's top college football players at Nebraska. He was drafted 6th overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1996 NFL Draft.

    He only played in 25 games and scored 12 touchdowns for the Rams, but also had short stints with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

    In 2005, jurors convicted Phillips of choking a former girlfriend twice in San Diego, once into unconsciousness. He was also convicted of hitting three teenagers with his car in Los Angeles.