Ex-NFL Running Back Lawrence Phillips Found Dead in Prison

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12 Sep 1999: Lawrence Phillips #33 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Alltell Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the 49ers 41-3. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

DELANO (AP) —

California prison officials say former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been found dead in his prison cell, and they suspect suicide.

Officials say guards at Kern Valley State Prison found the 40-year-old Phillips unresponsive in his cell shortly after midnight Wednesday. He was pronounced dead about 1:30 a.m.

He had been in segregation since April 2013 after he was suspected of killing his cellmate.

A Kern County judge had ruled Tuesday that there was enough evidence to try Phillips in the death of 37-year-old Damion Soward.

Phillips played for the St. Louis Rams before being released in 1997. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

He was convicted of choking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens in 2005.

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