Lawrence Phillips, the former Nebraska running back who was facing a murder charge, was found dead Wednesday morning in his California prison.
Authorities at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California, said they are investigating the death as a suspected suicide. The prison staff was doing a routine security and found Philips, 40 unresponsive. Philips was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Phillips was on trial for the alleged murder of his former cellmate Damion Soward. While already facing 31 years for separate incidents if convicted for killing his cell mate he would be giving the death penalty.
Phillips played running back for Nebraska in the 1990s and played on the 1994 and ’95 championship teams. He was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Rams in 1996 and played three seasons for the Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. Phillips had a lot of off-field issues that ended his NFL career early.
He also played in the Canadian Football League.