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Ex-Dolphin Phillips suspected of killing cellmate

Phillips played for Dolphins in 1997, released after assault arrest

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FRESNO, Calif. – A former Dolphins running back who gained notoriety for his off-the-field behavior is now suspected of killing his cellmate in a California prison.

Lawrence Phillips, 39, who played two games for the Dolphins during the 1997 season was the cellmate of Damion Soward, the prisoner who was found dead over the weekend.

Phillips is currently serving a sentence of more than 31 years in the Kern Valley State prison after twice being convicted of choking his girlfriend and also injuring three teenagers by driving his car into a group following a football game.

The Dolphins signed Phillips in 2007 after he was released by the Rams following a rocky tenure in St. Louis.

Critics and fans slammed the Dolphins and head coach Jimmy Johnson for signing Phillips who had been involved in off-the-field incidents, including assault, while at the University of Nebraska.

Despite promises to turn his life around, Phillips was arrested for assaulting a woman in a South Florida nightclub and the Dolphins released him after playing in just two games.

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