Ex-NFLer Phillips' attorney: Car assault unintentional

Updated: September 15, 2006, 1:48 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Former Nebraska football star Lawrence Phillips attempted to run over a group of boys with his car because he was upset about losing a pickup game, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday.

The 31-year-old Phillips faces seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon for driving a car onto a soccer field near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 21, 2005, and injuring three boys. If convicted, he faces more than 13 years in prison.

Defense attorney Leslie Ringold said there was insufficient evidence that Phillips assaulted anyone. She said evidence shows it was reckless driving, not assault.

Phillips has a history of trouble with the law going back a decade to his time as one of the nation's top college football players.

The St. Louis Rams released him for insubordination in 1997 after he played 25 games with them. Phillips signed with the Miami Dolphins later in the 1997 season, but was released after pleading no contest to hitting a woman in a nightclub.

He was the top offensive player in NFL Europe in 1999 after setting league records for rushing and touchdowns with the Barcelona Dragons.

He signed with the San Francisco 49ers later that year, but was released for missing a practice. He also has played in the Canadian Football League.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press