Ex-NFL player [Lawrence Phillips] accused of murdering his cellmate found dead in prison


A former NFL running back, who was in jail for assault and was recently charged with murdering his cellmate, was found dead on Wednesday from an apparent suicide.

He wrote a letter to his mom in March 2015, just before the alleged murder, expressing anger and even predicting his demise.

“I feel myself very close to snapping,” Phillips wrote in the letter, obtained by USA Today. “My anger grows daily as I have become fed up with prison. I feel my anger is near bursting and that will result in my death or the death of someone else.”

Phillips was a star running back for the University of Nebraska before he was selected sixth-overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 1996 draft. He played three seasons, with the Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers, scoring 14 touchdowns in 35 games.


I don’t know if he “murdered” his cellmate, but he likely killed him. He does have violent tendencies (so it is certainly within the realm of possibility), but he does sound pensive and pitiful ever since he was incarcerated.

This ESPN mini-documentary about Lawrence Phillip’s fall (made before his death) is sad.


May he rest in peace. I feel sorry for him, since he (or most people) does not deserve to be in that type of environment. He did deserve to be incarcerated, but it would seem that the exigencies of a harsh prison environment would prevent rehabilitation and reform. He was a victim of prison violence, and instead of killing someone out of violent passion or malice, he probably killed someone out of fear and desperation.


Here are some of his letters from prison. They are sad.



Yes, I’m sorry anyone would take the route of suicide.


Eternal rest grant him, O Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed
Through the mercy of God
Rest in peace.

My Jesus have mercy.




The lack of punctuation made that headline very confusing – Phillips’ cellmate was found dead in prison, and Phillips was accused of murdering him?

A couple of commas would have made things a lot clearer:

Ex-NFL player, accused of murdering his cellmate, found dead in prison.

Back on topic, Phillips was truly a troubled soul. I really don’t know how to comment about this, except to say that I hope he has found peace.


His family will let his brain be donated to science so perhaps something went wrong on this.



This was a sad story. It was his fault for winding up in prison, but at the same time, with all the ultra-violence in his life and with his competitive athleticism strongly fostering those tendencies, one can see how he could easily lose control of himself. And being in an essentially gladiatorial environment like prison, it’s not as though he could realistically embrace pacifism. If his cellmate tried to kill him, then it was a kill or be killed situation, and I imagine instinct must have taken over. The hopelessness he must have felt was entirely warranted - the guy was doomed.

Good video, by the way.


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