Reports today coming from Kern Valley State Prison in California state that the former stand-out Nebraska Running Back was found dead in his prison cell today. Prison officials are ruling it as a suicide, Phillips was 40 years old.
Phillips had been serving a 31-year sentence for multiple felonies but was recently charged with the murder of his previous cell-mate, Damion Soward, when Soward was found strangled to death in his cell last April.
“I feel myself very close to snapping,” wrote Phillips in a letter dated March 5, 2015. “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 the star running back on the University of Nebraska’s national championship teams in 1994 and 1995, a first-round pick, (sixth overall) in the 1996 NFL draft. He played for three seasons with the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. In 2009 he was sentenced to 31 years in prison for two separate incidents, driving his car into three teenagers and assaulting an ex-girlfriend.