Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips recently died in prison under circumstances suggesting suicide. An attorney representing his estate hopes to launch an investigation regarding the question of whether Phillips actually killed himself.
Josh Peter and A.J. Perez of USA Today report that attorney Dan Chamberlain believes the situation is “highly suspicious” due to a note found in Phillips’ sock.
Some familiar with Phillips’ handwriting believe he didn’t write the note, which said (according to the best recollection of Clayton Campbell, one of his defense lawyers), “‘Did you hear the one about the football player who hung himself from the TV mount in his cell?’ And where it said football player, it looked like somebody after the fact put the letter ‘X’ before ‘football,’ so it said ‘X-football player.'”
A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told USA Today that Phillips was in single-cell, segregated housing, to which only corrections officers have access.
A coroner has ruled the death a suicide, but an autopsy is pending. Chamberlain hopes to hire attorneys who will explore the situation.
Phillips, 40, was facing the death penalty for allegedly killing a cellmate last year. A top 10 pick of the Rams in 1996, Phillips died after a preliminary hearing in court found probable cause to believe that he has committed murder.