Lawrence Phillips Charged With Murdering His Prison Cellmate

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Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips, who is currently serving a 31-year prison sentence for various crimes, has been officially accused of murdering his cellmate, Damion Soward.

Soward was found strangled to death in his cell in April, at which point Phillips was named a suspect. Now, he’s facing a first-degree murder charge (via USA Today):

Phillips, the former star running back, faces 25 years to life if he is convicted but will avoid the death penalty because the DA’s office determined there were no “special circumstances’’ — which include multiple murders, murdering during a robbery and murder with a prior conviction of murder — that allows a California prosecutor to pursue the death penalty.


Phillips is 40 years old, so adding a murder conviction to his current sentence would almost certainly see him in jail for the rest of his life.

[USA Today]