Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips asked prison officials several times to be put in solitary confinement for his own protection, reports Lars Anderson of Bleacher Report.
Last month, it was reported that Phillips is suspected of murdering his cellmate at a California prison. Damion Soward was found unresponsive in their cell and later died in a hospital.
Phillips is currently serving a 31-year, four-month sentence for "inflicting great bodily injury involving domestic violence, corporal injury to spouse, false imprisonment and vehicle theft." He was charged in 2005 with assaulting his then-girlfriend, choking her until she was unconscious. While being investigated in that case, he struck three teenagers with a car after a dispute at a youth football game. He began serving his sentence in 2008.
From Anderson's report:
In at least two instances, Phillips' wishes were honored, according to a source. But then in early April, for reasons that remain unclear, Phillips, 39, was moved from isolation into a cell with 37-year-old Damion Soward, who was the cousin of former USC Trojan and NFL wide receiver R. Jay Soward.
Bleacher Report did not receive comment from prison officials upon contacting them.
It has not yet been determined if Phillips will face charges.
Phillips was a standout at the University of Nebraska and was the sixth pick of the 1996 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. He was released by the Rams midway through the 1997 season and signed with the Miami Dolphins. Miami released Phillips after he was charged with assaulting a woman at a Florida nightclub.
- Molly Geary and Dan Gartland