Lawerence Phillips was a star college running back and was selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL draft. It sounds like the beginning of a great life. Fast forward to 2015 and Phillips is currently serving a 31 year prison sentence for a slew of different charges. Life obviously did not turn out for him the way most would have expected and now he is the suspect in the murder of his cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison in California.


Phillips was a star running back at the University of Nebraska, which led to him being selected in the first round of the 1996 NFL draft, with the sixth selection by the St. Louis Rams. At the time he was thought to have a great long playing career ahead of him because of his dominance at the NCAA level. Unfortunately for him he was not ready to conduct himself as a pro athlete and wound up fizzling out of the league in just a couple seasons.

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. It wasn’t clear whether Phillips has an attorney.

He is 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 said they suspect a second inmate at the prison of also killing his cellmate. It’s unclear whether the two are related.