Lawrence Phillips’ mug shot from when he was arrested in 2005. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department

A former NFL running back who was convicted in 2005 in San Diego of choking his ex-girlfriend into unconsciousness is now charged with killing his cellmate in a central California prison.

Lawrence Phillips, who played for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers during a three-year NFL career, is accused of strangling 37-year-old Damion Soward at Kern Valley State Prison in April.

Phillips, 40, is charged with first-degree murder and faces 25 years to life if convicted, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

Phillips, who was a top running back at the University of Nebraska, is currently serving a sentence of more than 31 years.

He will be back in court Sept. 15.

—City News Service

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