SACRAMENTO -- Imprisoned former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips had a "Do Not Resuscitate" note taped to his chest when he was found hanging in his cell, according to a California coroner's report released Wednesday.
Deputy Kern County Coroner Christopher Frank says in the report that he found another note and a picture of Phillips and an unnamed child tucked into Phillips' left sock. The "Do Not Resuscitate" note had been written on a small piece of paper that had been torn in half.
Phillips, 40, was found in his Kern Valley State Prison cell Jan. 13 with a torn bed sheet tied to a television shelf and tied tightly around his neck, the report says.
The coroner ruled that the former Nebraska star committed suicide while he was awaiting a trial that could have brought him the death penalty.
He was charged with killing a former cellmate, 37-year-old Damion Soward, the cousin of former Southern California and NFL wide receiver R. Jay Soward. The prison houses about 4,000 inmates in Delano, north of Bakersfield.
His attorney, Jesse Whitten, did not return telephone and email messages seeking comment.
The coroner closed the investigation June 1 and provided the report to The Associated Press under a public records request.
Phillips was sentenced to more than 31 years in prison in 2008 after he was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and of driving his car into three teens later that year after a pickup football game in Los Angeles.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 1996, but released a year later for insubordination. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers but was out of the NFL by 2000.
Phillips played in eight games with the 49ers in 1999 when he rushed 30 times for 144 yards (4.8 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 152 yards.