US man found guilty of killing wife used his phone to Google divorce-related items beforehand

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A Washington County jury on July 1 morning found a Woodbury man guilty of first-degree homicide and second-degree homicide in reference to the stabbing dying of his wife final summer time.

The jury, which started deliberating Thursday afternoon, found McKinley Phillips, 40, guilty of stabbing Sha-Von Phillips a number of instances within the basement of their Woodbury house on June 25, 2021. Six youngsters, ranging in age from 5 to 15, have been in the home on the time.

Phillips took a Greyhound bus headed for Chicago after the deadly stabbing, police stated. Officers found him on the bus round 3am the subsequent day close to Tomah, Wisconsin, the place he was arrested and jailed.

Prosecutors argued through the trial that Phillips’ crime concerned premeditation and that he needs to be found guilty on each counts of homicide.

About every week earlier than he allegedly killed his wife by stabbing her 27 instances with two completely different folding knives, Phillips used his cellphone to conduct a quantity of Internet searches associated to divorce.

Among the questions he had for Google: “How much does it cost to get a divorce?” “What to do if your wife wants a divorce and you don’t?” “What if my wife wants me to sign divorce papers, but I don’t?” “Do both parties have to sign a divorce decree?” and “Hennepin County divorce filing fee?”

During closing statements in Phillips’ homicide trial, prosecutors stated his searches on June 24, 2021, the day earlier than Sha-Von Phillips’ dying, confirmed extra indicators of marital discord. They have been married 5 years.

Phillips’ searches, in accordance to Assistant Washington County Attorney Tom Frenette, included: “How do you know if your wife is talking to another man?” “Physical signs your wife is cheating?” and “How do you know if you have a good woman?”

“He knows a divorce is likely,” Frenette instructed the jury of eight girls and 4 males. “This is not a shock. He said he thought she was having an affair. He believes she’s cheating. … This was not a rash decision, ladies and gentleman. The evidence shows that there were breaking points in all of this.”

Defense lawyer Mac Guptil countered that Phillips didn’t plan to kill his wife, so the lesser cost of second-degree homicide can be extra acceptable.

“None of those (internet) searches showed that there was a plan to kill someone,” Guptil stated. “Were any of the searches: ‘How do you get away with murder?’ ‘How do you get rid of evidence?’ No.”

The couple’s marital discord and McKinley Phillips’ subsequent web searches “sure as heck didn’t establish a plan,” Guptil instructed the jury. “At some point, it went overboard, but … (the state) can’t prove that he was operating on a scheme to kill. I am not condoning a lot of things Mr. Phillips did, but based on the circumstantial evidence, the state overreached the charges.”

Phillips, carrying a grey go well with, testified that he made extra web searches after the killing, together with “Definitions of “murder” and “I just killed my wife”.

When Guptil requested his consumer in regards to the searches, Phillips stated he was “curious.”

“I had just done this horrible thing, and I wanted to know what I was going to face,” he stated.

Phillips now faces a compulsory life sentence.

The trial was heard in Stillwater by Washington County District Judge Juanita Freeman. – Pioneer Press/Tribune News Service



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