Shevon Phillips beloved cooking and listening to music. She was a mom, daughter and sister.
“She didn’t need to die within the method that (her husband) selected for her that day,” Assistant Washington County Lawyer Tom Frenette informed jurors Monday throughout opening statements within the homicide trial of McKinley Phillips. “You’re right here at present as a result of that man … killed his spouse by stabbing her 27 instances within the basement of their residence.”
Phillips, 40, faces a compulsory life sentence if convicted of first-degree homicide within the June 2021 loss of life of his 42-year-old spouse.
His lawyer says Phillips killed the girl however that he didn’t plan to, so a lesser cost of second-degree homicide is extra acceptable.
Phillips is accused of stabbing his spouse within the basement of their Woodbury residence close to Royal Oaks Elementary College. Six youngsters ages 5 to fifteen have been upstairs watching TV on the time, Frenette stated.
After the stabbing, Phillips rode a Metro Transit bus and prepare to Minneapolis after which bought on a Greyhound bus headed for Chicago. Police discovered Phillips on the bus round 3 a.m. the subsequent day close to Tomah, Wis. by monitoring the placement of his cellphone, Frenette stated.
Web searches that Phillips made on his cellular phone “are a mirror picture of his ideas” earlier than and after the killing, Frenette informed the jury. Among the many searches: How a lot does it price to file for divorce? What is taken into account “homicide” below Minnesota regulation?
On the morning she was killed, Shevon Phillips picked up her husband from his in a single day job at Mystic Lake On line casino and drove them residence, Frenette stated. Again on the home, McKinley Phillips discovered a letter to his spouse from an previous boyfriend, who was at present in jail, in keeping with the prison grievance filed towards him.
Phillips searched the person’s identify on-line, then discovered Shevon Phillips sitting in a chair in a basement TV room and punched her a number of instances within the face, “hitting her so onerous it put her in a daze,” Frenette informed the jury.
Taking out a blue, folding pocketknife, Phillips “selected to flip it open and choose up the knife and produce it down on his spouse’s physique repeatedly,” persevering with to stab her after she fell face down on the ground, Frenette stated.
“He chooses to savagely assault her,” Frenette stated. “He positions himself over her and stabs her a number of instances.”
After the knife both slipped or partially folded into his pinky finger, Phillips bought a second folding knife – a inexperienced one – “and he walks as much as his spouse once more and decides to repeatedly stab her once more,” Frenette stated. “These are his decisions. This all happens whereas six youngsters – ranging in age from 5 to fifteen – are upstairs watching TV.”
Protection lawyer Mac Guptil stated his shopper “sadly and horribly and a bunch of different phrases … triggered the loss of life of his spouse.”
However, Guptil argued, the proof received’t present premeditation, the important thing ingredient of the first-degree homicide cost that might ship Phillips to jail for all times. It requires prosecutors to show Phillips deliberate to kill earlier than he did so, though that plan may very well be fashioned moments earlier than the act.
“The state made the choice to cost him with first-degree, and it’s an excessive amount of,” he informed the jury. “Premeditation received’t exist right here.”
Guptil will urge the jury to contemplate convicting Phillips solely on the lesser cost of second-degree homicide.
The trial, which is being heard in Stillwater by Washington County District Choose Juanita Freeman, is anticipated to final per week.