BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been charged with murder in the death of his cellmate at a Central California prison.
Phillips is suspected of killing 37-year-old Damion Soward at Kern Valley State Prison in April. Officials determined Soward was strangled.
The Kern County district attorney's office says the 40-year-old Phillips faces a first-degree murder charge.
Phillips was once one of the nation's top college football players at Nebraska. He played for the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers during a three-year NFL career.
Phillips is serving a sentence of more than 31 years. He was convicted of choking his girlfriend and later of driving his car into three teens after a pickup football game.
KBAK-TV reports Phillips was ordered back to court Sept. 15.