An investigation on the death of Lawrence Phillips, an incarcerated ex-NFL player, has revealed that the former San Francisco 49ers running back committed suicide inside his cell. According to reports, Phillips even had a "Do Not Resuscitate" sign taped to his chest at the time of his death.
Phillips was convicted in 2009 for assaulting his then girlfriend Amaliya Weisler. He was sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison.
Then, in April of last year, his cellmate, Damion Soward, was found dead. Investigation on the matter revealed that Soward was choked to death, and Phillips was named as the prime suspect. A few months later, Phillips was charged with first-degree murder and had been awaiting trial for death penalty.
On Jan. 12, 2016, Phillips was found dead inside his cell. According to Omaha.com, the night before the incident, a correctional officer checked on Phillips' cell at around 11:35 pm but did not see anything out of the ordinary.
However, when he came to check on him again after midnight, the officer saw a towel blocking the window that peered into Phillips cell. After removing the towel, he saw the lifeless body of Phillips in a seated position with a bedsheet tied around his neck.
The guard noted that he had a "Do Not Resuscitate" note taped to his chest. But, he and the other officers still tried to revive Phillips and even brought him to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
As noted in various reports, the other end of the sheet was secured to a TV shelf inside Phillips' cell. Since he was in solitary confinement, the correctional officers believed he committed suicide by hanging himself in a seated position since the shelf was too low.
Details of his death were revealed through a coroner's report, which was released earlier this week.
"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 report stated.
His family and friends, however, are still not convinced that Phillips killed himself and are planning on seeking an independent civil rights investigation regarding his death.