LOS ANGELES (AP) -Lawrence Phillips, the former Nebraska running back trying to avoid a potential 20-year prison term for assault by contesting a guilty plea he made in another case, had his sentencing postponed again Thursday.
A Superior Court judge pushed back sentencing until May 29, the latest in at least a half-dozen postponements since Phillips was convicted in October, prosecutor Todd Hicks said.
A call to Phillips's public defender, Leslie Ringold, seeking comment was not immediately returned Thursday.
The 31-year-old Phillips was convicted of seven counts of assault with a deadly weapon. He has been jailed since his arrest in August 2005 after he drove onto a field near Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. His car struck two boys, ages 14 and 15, and a 19-year-old man, who suffered cuts and bruises. The car narrowly missed four other people.
Authorities said Phillips was upset over losing a pickup football game with the youths.
Phillips has another case in Superior Court as well. He is trying to withdraw his 2000 guilty plea to hitting a woman he had been dating, Hicks said.
Phillips contends he was coerced into pleading guilty to domestic abuse and making a criminal threat, resulting in a brief prison term and three years of probation.
That crime is considered a first strike under California's ``three strikes'' law and if the guilty plea stands it means the car assault is a second strike carrying a potential sentence of 20 years, Hicks said.
``If he succeeds in having his plea withdrawn ... he will have basically no strike in his background'' and the maximum sentence would be halved to 10 years, Hicks said. ``He's trying to save himself a lot of custody,'' the prosecutor said.
Phillips was expected to take the witness stand in that case next week. If Phillips is allowed to withdraw the plea, the case might be retried.
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.
He's awaiting trial on charges he struck his live-in girlfriend in San Diego and strangled her into unconsciousness in 2005.
The St. Louis Rams released Phillips 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.
Phillips 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.
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