NFL Star Lawrence Phillips Found Dead

Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips was found dead in a California prison cell early Wednesday.

Officials suspect he committed suicide while being detained at the Kern Valley State Prison.

The 40-year-old former pro athlete was found unresponsive in his cell shortly after midnight. He was transported to an outside hospital and pronounced dead about 1:30 a.m., the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

Phillips had been housed alone in a segregation cell since April 2013. He was placed there after he was suspected of killing his cellmate.

On Tuesday, a Kern County judge ruled that there was enough evidence to try Phillips in the death of 37-year-old Damion Soward.

Phillips played for the St. Louis Rams before being released in 1997 for insubordination. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins franchises.

Phillips was serving a sentence of more than 31 years at his time of death, after being convicted in 2008 of twice choking his girlfriend and of driving his car into three teens in 2005.

Read more at Chicago Tribune.