Coroner's report reveals contents of Lawrence Phillips' suicide note
The No. 6 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft died in January after hanging himself
Five months after Lawrence Phillips was found dead inside of his prison cell, authorities in California have finally determined what exactly happened at Kern Valley State Prison on Jan. 13.
According to the final coroner's report, which was obtained by USA Today, Phillips hanged himself with a bed sheet that had been ripped in half. The sheet was knotted and tied around his neck.
When an officer at the prison discovered Phillips on Jan. 13, he was found hanging in a seated position from a television shelf that was less than five feet tall. Phillips also had a note on his chest.
"After completing an investigation in conjunction with the California Department of Corrections, the death of Lawrence Lamond Phillips was determined to be a suicide," the coroner's report stated, via Omaha.com.
The note on Phillips' chest said "Do Not Resuscitate," according to the report.
There was also a second note found in Phillips' left sock. However, the final coroner's report didn't reveal the contents of that note. A photo of Phillips and an unidentified child was also found in the sock.
Phillips had been in jail since 2008 when he was sentenced to 31 years in prison for convictions that included domestic violence, spousal abuse, false imprisonment and vehicle theft.
The former Nebraska running back was also facing a first-degree murder charge following the death of his cellmate, Damian Soward, in April 2015. The punishment in that case could've been the death penalty, but Phillips killed himself before the case went to trial.
After Soward's death, Phillips was put in a cell by himself where he was being closely monitored. According to the coroner's report, officers were required to check on Phillips at least twice an hour.
Phillips was alive when an officer checked on him at 11:35 p.m. on Jan. 12, but was found unresponsive when another officer checked on him 30 minutes later. Phillips was pronounced dead at 1:37 a.m.
After a college career at Nebraska that included a 1995 national title, the Rams made Phillips the sixth overall pick in 1996 NFL Draft Rams. Phillips never panned out in the NFL though. The beleaguered running back played in just 35 games over the course of his career with the Rams, Dolphins and 49ers.
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