Phillips' attorney: death possibly gang related

Posted at 11:53 AM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 11:52:47-05

The gag order for the attorney of the late Lawrence Phillips was lifted on Friday.

The attorney talk about an event that might have led to Phillips killing himself.



Attorney Jesse Whitten said that this all started with a gang battle involving the Crips at the Kern Valley Prison. 
Whitten said the Crips had it out for Phillips and said he was protecting himself from his cell mate Damion Soward. 

Whitten said Soward attacked Phillips and Phillips put him in a sleeper hold.
Soward was found dead in their cell last April and murder charges were then filed a few months later.  
Whitten said he was confident they would win the case and Phillips should have been optimistic. 
Whitten said a suicide note was found in his cell but it was suspicious because it was a different handwriting from Phillips. 
Prosecutor Andi Bridges said she knew nothing about a gang battle at the prison and that Soward was only at the prison two days before moving with Phillips. 
The California Department of Corrections could not tell 23ABC what the exact cause of death was while they are investigating this case.