Lawrence Phillips
Player of American and Canadian football
Lawrence Phillips
Lawrence Lamond Phillips is a former professional American football and Canadian football running back. Phillips's trouble with the law and inability to produce in the NFL have led many critics to label him as a bust.
Lawrence Phillips's personal information overview.
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Report: Lawrence Phillips' family seeking probe to disprove suicide - Fox News
Google News - about 1 year
USA TODAY Report: Lawrence Phillips' family seeking probe to disprove suicide Fox News The family of Lawrence Phillips continues to push for an investigation on whether the former NFL running back committed suicide in a California jail while awaiting trial on murder charges. Attorney Dan Chamberlain told USA TODAY on Friday that he was ... Former NFL player's attorney expresses skepticism overKern Golden Empire Attorney: Lawrence Phillips defended himself from gangKERO 23ABC News all 9 news articles »
Article Link:
Google News article
Coroner: Imprisoned ex-NFL running back Lawrence Phillips committed suicide
Chicago Times - about 1 year
Imprisoned former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips committed suicide while he was awaiting a trial that could have brought him the death penalty, a California coroner said Friday. The Kern County coroner's office released no other details. Phillips, 40, was found unresponsive at Kern Valley State...
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Chicago Times article
Lawrence Phillips, Volatile Football Star, Dies at 40
NYTimes - about 1 year
A gifted running back for Nebraska and the St. Louis Rams, Phillips derailed his career with a series of violent criminal acts off the field.
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NYTimes article
Ex-NFL player Phillips dead in California prison of suspected suicide
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Lawrence Phillips, a former NFL player convicted in a domestic violence case and later charged with murdering a cellmate, was found dead in his California prison cell early on Wednesday of a suspected suicide, officials said. The 40-year-old Phillips' death came less than five months after he was charged with murder in the April 11, 2015, strangling of his cellmate, a prison spokeswoman said. The former University of Nebraska star was awaiting trial in that case and faced a possible life sentence if convicted.
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Yahoo News article
Ex-Rams running back Lawrence Phillips dead after likely prison suicide
LATimes - about 1 year
Former Rams running back Lawrence Phillips died early Wednesday in what California prison officials deemed a likely suicide. Phillips, 40, was found unconscious just after midnight during a security check by staff at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano outside Bakersfield, the state corrections...
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LATimes article
Ex-NFL running back Lawrence Phillips found dead in prison
Fox News - about 1 year
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) California prison officials say former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been found dead in his prison cell, and they suspect suicide.
Article Link:
Fox News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lawrence Phillips
  • 2016
    Age 40
    On January 15, 2016, it was announced that Phillips' family had agreed to donate his brain to be examined for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at Boston University.
    More Details Hide Details A coroner determined that Lawrence Phillips hanged himself in prison, and had a "Do Not Resuscitate" note taped to his chest according to the Omaha World-Herald.
    Phillips was awaiting trial and in segregated custody when he was found unresponsive in his cell by correctional officers around midnight on January 12, 2016, and pronounced dead at 1:30 AM, in what is suspected as a suicide.
    More Details Hide Details The day before, a judge had ruled that there was enough evidence to bind Phillips over for trial in the murder of Soward.
  • 2015
    Age 39
    On September 1, 2015, Phillips was charged with first-degree murder in Soward's death.
    More Details Hide Details On November 9, 2015, the prosecutor was granted a motion to reconsider whether to seek the death penalty.
    On April 12, 2015, Phillips' cellmate Damion Soward, the cousin of former NFL wide receiver R.
    More Details Hide Details Jay Soward, was found dead in the cell the two men shared. Soward, who was serving a sentence of 82-to-life for a murder conviction, was choked to death, and Phillips was regarded as the prime suspect in the case.
  • 2009
    Age 33
    On December 18, 2009, Phillips was sentenced to 25 years in prison on the 2009 convictions, to run consecutive to the 2008 sentence (which was reduced to just under 7 years), for a term of 32 years.
    More Details Hide Details Phillips was admitted to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on October 16, 2008 and was incarcerated at Kern Valley State Prison. Under California law, since his crimes harmed other persons, Phillips was required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for time off.
    While serving that sentence, Phillips was convicted in August 2009 for the assault on his former girlfriend Amaliya Weisler on seven counts, including assault with great bodily injury, false imprisonment, making a criminal threat, and auto theft.
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  • 2008
    Age 32
    On October 3, 2008, he was sentenced to 10 years in a California state prison.
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  • 2006
    Age 30
    On October 10, 2006, he was found guilty of seven counts.
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    In March 2006, Phillips was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony assault with a deadly weapon stemming from the August 21, 2005, incident.
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  • 2005
    Age 29
    On August 21, 2005, Phillips was arrested for assault after driving a car into three teenagers following a dispute with them during a pick-up football game in Los Angeles, California.
    More Details Hide Details At the time of the arrest, Phillips was also wanted by the San Diego Police Department in connection with two alleged domestic-abuse incidents involving a former girlfriend, who claimed that Phillips had choked her to the point of unconsciousness. In addition, the Los Angeles Police Department was seeking Phillips in connection with another allegation of domestic abuse that had occurred in Los Angeles.
  • 2003
    Age 27
    Phillips briefly held out of training camp before the 2003 season due to a salary dispute.
    More Details Hide Details On May 1, shortly after his return, the Alouettes released him for not meeting the team's "minimum behavioural standards." It later emerged that he'd been charged with sexual assault. Phillips signed with the Calgary Stampeders (rushing for 486 yards on 107 carries and 1 TD), but was again released for arguing with head coach Jim Barker.
  • 2001
    Age 25
    In 2001, Phillips signed with the Florida Bobcats of the Arena Football League.
    More Details Hide Details However, before playing a down for them, he was released after leaving the team without telling his coach. Phillips then moved on to the Canadian Football League. He had some difficulty getting a Canadian work visa due to his criminal record, but was eventually cleared to join the Montreal Alouettes. He showed signs of his old form, notching up 1,022 yards, 13 touchdowns and a spot on the CFL Eastern All-Star Team while helping lead them to the 90th Grey Cup. However, he showed signs of lapsing into his old habits off the field. He walked out on the team at least once during the season, and his agent severed ties with him twice.
  • 1999
    Age 23
    In making the announcement, Mariucci said that the only reason the 49ers did not release Phillips right away was that his entire signing bonus would have counted against the team's salary cap for 1999, thus tying up nearly all of their cap room.
    More Details Hide Details Finally, on November 23, 1999, the 49ers waived him.
    Phillips returned stateside with the San Francisco 49ers in the Fall of 1999.
    More Details Hide Details The 49ers interviewed him several times before seemingly being assured that he had put his past difficulties behind him, though general manager Bill Walsh told him that the 49ers would not hesitate to cut him if he stepped out of line. He was in contention for the starting job before pulling a hamstring in training camp. Additionally, his blocking left much to be desired. He was beaten out for the starting slot by Charlie Garner. He did, however, become the 49ers' primary kick returner. Although Phillips stayed out of trouble off the field, his on-field performance was of greater concern to the 49ers. His blocking skills were so suspect that he was almost never in the game on passing downs. Their concerns were validated during a Monday Night Football game against the Arizona Cardinals, when cornerback Aeneas Williams rushed in on a blitz and Phillips failed to pick it up. Williams ended up knocking Steve Young unconscious on the play with a hard, but clean, hit. Young suffered what would prove to be a career-ending concussion; he did not play again for the rest of the season and was all but forced to retire. In the same game, Phillips ran for a 68-yard touchdown to put the game away 24–10, outrunning Williams to the end zone. Nonetheless, his missed block on Williams led the 49ers to question his work ethic.
  • 1998
    Age 22
    Phillips missed the 1998 season before attempting a comeback in 1999; he set NFL Europe offensive records with the Barcelona Dragons (1,021 yards and 14 TDs) and attracted interest from several NFL teams.
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  • 1997
    Age 21
    In 1997, Phillips surpassed his entire 1996 total in only 10 games and nine starts, rushing for 634 yards.
    More Details Hide Details However, on November 20, the Rams abruptly released him. According to Rams team officials, coach Dick Vermeil had told Phillips that he was being demoted to second string due to his inconsistent performance and inability to stay out of trouble. Phillips stormed out of the Rams' facility and missed that day's meeting and practice. The Rams lost patience with him and decided to cut ties with him. A teary-eyed Vermeil at the time called Phillips potentially the best running back he had ever coached. Phillips then moved on to the Miami Dolphins for two games, rushing for 44 yards on 18 carries for a 2.4 yard-per-carry average. The Dolphins released him after he pleaded no contest to assaulting a woman in a Plantation, Florida nightclub.
  • 1996
    Age 20
    In 1996 Phillips had played 15 games with 11 starts.
    More Details Hide Details He carried the ball 193 times for 632 yards for 4 touchdowns.
    He received no signing bonus, but his salaries were $1.5 million in 1996, $1.875 million in 1997 and $2.25 million in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details Also, he had a chance to receive some guaranteed money in the future if he met certain conditions. The chaos he created at Nebraska continued in St. Louis; in less than two years with the Rams, he spent 23 days in jail.
    On July 29, 1996, Phillips signed a three-year, $5.625-million contract.
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    Despite his considerable character issues, with his strong performance, Phillips was drafted sixth overall in the 1996 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams.
    More Details Hide Details Several teams with higher picks let it be known that they passed on him due to his off-the-field troubles. He was widely expected to be selected by the new Baltimore Ravens with the fourth pick to fill their vacant running back position. However, they decided to select the best available player regardless of position and selected future eleven time pro-bowler and future Pro Football Hall-of-Fame offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. During the draft, ESPN analyst Joe Theismann stated in regard to Phillips: "Everybody's called him the best player in the draft." The Rams thought so highly of Phillips that on the same day of the draft, they traded his predecessor, future Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    A two-time college football national champion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Phillips played in the National Football League for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers from 1996 through 1999, and for the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in 2002 and 2003.
    More Details Hide Details Phillips' career was overshadowed by his inability to stay out of trouble off the field; he was arrested several times. In 2015, Phillips was charged with the murder of his former cellmate, Damion Soward.
  • 1995
    Age 19
    When the 1995 season finally arrived, Phillips became an early front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.
    More Details Hide Details In Nebraska's second game of the season, against Michigan State—playing its first game under new coach Nick Saban—Phillips had 206 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. After only two games, he was averaging more than 11 yards per carry and had scored six touchdowns. Hours after the team returned from East Lansing, Phillips was arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Kate McEwen, a basketball player for the Nebraska women's team, and was subsequently suspended by head coach Tom Osborne. The case became a source of controversy and media attention, with the perception arising that Osborne was coddling a star player by not kicking Phillips off the team permanently. Osborne walked out on a press conference when asked "If one of your players had roughed up a member of your family and had dragged her down a flight of steps, would you have reinstated that player to the team?" Outraged Nebraska faculty proposed that any student convicted of a violent crime be prohibited from representing the university on the football field. Osborne defended the decision, saying that abandoning Phillips might do more harm than good, stating the best way to help Phillips was within the structured environment of the football program. Osborne reinstated Phillips for the Iowa State game, although touted freshman Ahman Green continued to start. Phillips also played against Kansas and Oklahoma.
    Less than two weeks after Phillips helped Nebraska win the 1995 championship, he pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and vandalism dating to an incident in March 1994.
    More Details Hide Details Though Phillips was formally charged on November 18, having failed to complete the requirements of the pretrial diversion program, the hearing was delayed until after Phillips participated in the rivalry game against Oklahoma and the Orange Bowl.
  • 1994
    Age 18
    Shortly before the start of the next season, Phillips' eligibility was in question for receiving a $100 lunch from a sports agent during the 1994 season.
    More Details Hide Details When Nebraska officials became aware of the violation, Phillips allegedly reimbursed the agent. The NCAA ruled Phillips eligible just in time for the season opener, but continued to investigate other unspecified issues involving Phillips.
    Phillips' performance in the Orange Bowl that year was key to Nebraska securing its undefeated season and the national championship in 1994.
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    By his sophomore year, Phillips became the focal point of the offense because of injuries to quarterbacks Tommie Frazier and Brook Berringer. Phillips tied a school record by rushing for 100 yards or more in 11 straight games in 1994 despite frequently playing against eight or nine-man defensive fronts.
    More Details Hide Details Against the #3 Miami Hurricanes, Phillips had 96 yards on 19 carries, including a 25-yard run that was the longest rushing play the Hurricanes had allowed all season. During the regular season, Phillips ran for 1,722 yards, still a Nebraska record for a sophomore.
    In the second half of the 1994 Orange Bowl, he sparked the Huskers' ground game, carrying 13 times for 64 of the 183 rushing yards against a formidable Seminole defense.
    More Details Hide Details All but one of Phillips' carries came in the fourth quarter, during which he scored on a 12-yard touchdown run. This game established him as the primary running back in the Nebraska offense.
  • 1993
    Age 17
    In 1993, his freshman year at Nebraska, Phillips gradually worked his way up the player ranks.
    More Details Hide Details He came off the bench to rush for 137 yards and a touchdown in the Huskers' 14-13 win at Pac-10 champion UCLA.
  • 1975
    Born on May 12, 1975.
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