The death of former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been ruled a suicide, according to a California coroner’s report released Wednesday.
Phillips was found dead in his Kern Valley State prison cell in January at the age of 40. The coroner’s report states Phillips had a “Do Not Resuscitate” note taped to his chest after he hanged himself. Phillips also had another note and a picture of an unknown child in his left sock.
Phillips was imprisoned in 2008 for assaulting his then-girlfriend and running his car into three teenagers at a youth football game three years prior. He received at 31-year sentence. Last September, he was charged with first-degree murder after his cellmate, Damion Soward, was found strangled to death in their cell.
Phillips was awaiting trail for the murder at the time of his death. If found guilty, he could have faced the death penalty.
The St. Louis Rams selected Phillips in the first round of the 1996 NFL draft, but released him a year later. He played for the Miami Dolphins and had a brief stint with the San Francisco 49ers, but struggled to make a name for himself in the league.