Lawrence Phillips, Ex-49er Suspected Of Murder


SAN FRANCISCO—Former San Francisco 49ers running back Lawrence Phillips, an inmate of Kern Valley State Prison, is a suspect in the death of his cellmate, Damion Soward.

Lawrence Phillips
Lawrence Phillips, once a talented runningback and former 6th-overall pick, has had repeated run-ins with the law and is suspected of killing his prison cellmate.

Phillips, 39, was incarcerated in 2008 on charges of vehicle theft and domestic violence, and false imprisonment, among others. The charges were the result of two reported conflicts in which Phillips throttled his girlfriend.

Currently serving a 31-year and four month prison sentence, Phillips is a suspect in the death of Soward, 31, who was discovered unresponsive in his cell and died in a local hospital on Sunday.

A convicted murderer, Soward was serving a sentence of 82 years to life.

The details of Soward’s death are currently unknown. Phillips has been placed in a separate unit while law enforcement conducts an investigation.