Lawrence Phillips Accused Of Murdering Cell Mate, Could Get Years Added To Sentence

Lawrence Phillips, once an esteemed running back for the St. Louis Rams, has already been doing time for his violent crimes. However, he may be spending a lot more time behind bars after being accused of murdering his cell mate.

Lawrence was once a top athlete at the University of Nebraska, having led his team to victory in the National Championship. With his credentials, he had been drafted sixth for the Rams. He had run 125 yards and scored three touchdowns. His troubles began when he started switching teams, first to the Miami Dolphins in 1997 and then to the San Francisco 49ers in 1999.

According to Hollywood Life, Phillips was dumped from the NFL for his inconsistency on the field and inability to stay out of trouble. This trouble eventually continued in 2005 when he was wanted by police for multiple instances of domestic abuse, and he allegedly drove into three teenagers. Coupled with his ex-girlfriend’s complaints that he had choked her unconscious, it was apparent that Lawrence Phillips wasn’t going to stop breaking the law.

Phillips is joining the ranks of recent athletes such as Jimmy Snuka, who, according to a recent report by the Inquisitr, is being charged with the murder of his girlfriend back in his WWF days.

Originally, the ex-NFL athlete was sent to prison for 10 years over the car incident, which was eventually reduced to seven. The domestic abuse charges had added another 25 years on top of it.

On April 12, Lawrence’s cell mate, Damion Soward, had been found strangled to death in their shared Kern Valley State Prison cell. Phillips was immediately considered the prime suspect. USA Today states he will not face the death penalty, since the District Attorney claims there were no “special circumstances.” These circumstances would include a crime stacked on top of a crime, such as murder while committing robbery or prior counts of murder.

Prosecuting attorney Andrea Bridges says that Lawrence Phillips will be facing 14 “strike priors” as well as the recent charge of first-degree murder. Strike priors are defined as violent crimes such as domestic abuse, assault, and the like. He is expected to plead not guilty to the charges, and he will be made aware of them and given the chance to request a continuance, which Bridges claims is a popular option.

According to Fox News, Lawrence will be given his arraignment on September 15.

[Image via Eliot J. Schechter / Getty Images]