Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

NFL Running Back Sentenced in L.A. to Prison

Posted on: October 7, 2008 at 2:38 p.m.

While some were waiting for news on former USC and NFL great OJ Simpson's trial to end, another former college star who played in the NFL was sentenced in Los Angeles. Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison, two years after he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.

The sentencing was repeatedly delayed while Phillips fought to withdraw a guilty plea in a domestic abuse case that could have led to a stiffer sentence. The crime would be considered a first strike under California's "three strikes" law. If the guilty plea stood, it means the car assault would be a second strike carrying a potential sentence of 20 years, prosecutors said.

The 33-year-old former Nebraska running back has been jailed for assault since August 2005, when he drove onto a field near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and his car struck three boys, ages 14 and 15, and a 19-year-old man, who suffered cuts and bruises. The car narrowly missed four other people, prosecutor Todd Hicks. Phillips was allegedly upset after losing a pickup football game to the youths and accused them of stealing some of his possessions.

Assault with a deadly weapon is the act of menacing another person with a weapon that could cause death. This is usually a gun, but it doesn't need to be. This form of assault does not include the action of using force, called battery, but it often leads to assault and battery charges. Understandably, stiff penalties are involved. Interpretation of assault versus battery with a deadly weapon can depend on local statutes, which makes researching the penalties in your region essential. Knowledgeable criminal attorneys in Los Angeles can assist those facing all manner of assault and/or battery charges.

There are many defenses to charges of assault, and contacting an attorney as soon as charges are filed will allow evidence to be evaluated and witnesses questioned while everything is still fresh. A skillful Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer can help you get through this complicated process.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, jury trial defense

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