Ex-NFL RB Phillips to stand trial on assault charges

Updated: March 2, 2006, 8:08 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Ex-NFL running back Lawrence Phillips was ordered to stand trial on assault charges for allegedly driving a car into three teenagers who argued with him following a pickup football game.

After a two-day preliminary hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samuel Mayerson ruled Wednesday that there was enough evidence to hold Phillips on seven counts of assault to commit great bodily injury.

The judge dismissed two counts of child abuse and one count of leaving the scene of an accident stemming from the Aug. 21, 2005, incident on a South Los Angeles soccer field.

Mayerson said Phillips, 30, drove directly at the victims, who suffered cuts and scrapes. Phillips allegedly was angry at the way he had played and took it out on the boys.

"His conduct displayed a certain stupidity and what he did was clearly an assault on these young boys," Mayerson said. "The salient part of the evidence was that the defendant was in a snit when he left the field."

Phillips, who has a felony conviction for making criminal threats, faces more than 13 years in prison if convicted of all counts, said Deborah Brazil, a deputy district attorney.

He was being held on $350,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraignment March 15.

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

The Los Angeles 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