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USA Today Sports has obtained the official toxicology and autopsy report detailing the circumstances surrounding the death of former NFL star, Lawrence Phillips. The report found no drugs or illegal substances in his system and ruled his death a suicide by asphyxia.

Correctional officers found Phillips, 40, on January 13 hanging from a bed sheet in his prison cell at Kern Valley State Prison in California. A note was taped to his chest saying, “Do Not Resuscitate.”

He was pronounced dead two hours later at a Bakersfield hospital.

Phillips was scheduled to begin trial on murder charges in the death of a cell mate and was serving a 24-year sentence for prior offenses.

The disturbing details of the report are below, according to USA Today:

  • A bed sheet had been ripped in half, knotted and tied around Phillips’ neck. He was found hanging from a five-foot high, metal television shelf.
  • The forensic pathologist who conducted the coroner’s report found in Phillips’ left sock a photo of Phillips and an unidentified child and a note. The report provided no details about the note.
  • The note on Phillips’ chest that read “Do not Resuscitate’’ was written on a small piece of paper torn in half.

USA Today writes:

Phillips was the star running back on the University of Nebraska’s national championship teams in 1994 and 1995. He was a first-round pick, sixth overall to the St. Louis Rams, in the 1996 NFL draft.

He played for three seasons in the NFL that included stints with the Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. In 2009, he was sentenced to prison for two separate incidents — driving his car into three teenagers and assaulting an ex-girlfriend.



Ex-NFL Running Back Lawrence Phillips Found Dead In Prison Cell