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Phillips Pleads Innocent in Drunken Driving Case

July 3, 1996

EL MONTE, Calif. (AP) _ Lawrence Phillips, the St. Louis Rams’ top draft pick, pleaded innocent Wednesday to misdemeanor drunken driving.

Phillips was not present. Attorney Karen Filipi entered the plea before Commissioner Jose A. Rodriguez in Rio Hondo Municipal Court.

Trial was set for Aug. 28.

Phillips, 21, is free on his own recognizance.

He was arrested on June 15 in Los Angeles County after police allegedly saw him speeding in a gold Mercedes-Benz with a flat tire. His blood-alcohol level was found to be about twice California’s legal limit, authorities said.

Phillips, who has not yet been signed by the Rams, already is on probation for assaulting his former girlfriend while both were students at the University of Nebraska. The probation is scheduled to end Nov. 29.

A drunken-driving conviction could lead to the revocation of his probation and possibly jail time.

Phillips, who was picked sixth overall in the draft, is currently in contract negotiations with the Rams.

He grew up in a group home in West Covina, a Los Angeles suburb, and was a football star at Baldwin Park High, adjacent to El Monte.

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