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Appeals Court upholds Marshall County man’s Capital Murder conviction

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The Alabama Attorney General’s office released the following information on the conviction being upheld:

(MONTGOMERY)— Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday upheld the capital murder conviction of Jessie Livell Phillips. Phillips, 36, of Albertville, was convicted in Marshall Circuit Court in September of 2012 for the murder of his wife, Erica Phillips, and her unborn child.

Evidence was presented at trial that on February 27, 2009, Phillips and his wife, who was eight weeks pregnant, were arguing in their vehicle when Phillips pulled out a gun and shot Erica in the head. The murder occurred in a car wash bay in Guntersville, and a witness to the shooting notified police. An Albertville police officer who was on the lookout for Phillips’ vehicle spotted him pulling up to the Albertville Police Department. Phillips was still carrying the murder weapon, and surrendered to the officer. Phillips told police officers that he and his wife had been arguing all during the day about a deal he made regarding a car, and that he shot her. Erica Phillips and the unborn child died as a result of the shooting.

The case was prosecuted at trial by Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall’s office. Phillips was convicted and sentenced to death. He subsequently sought to have his conviction reversed on appeal.

The Attorney General’s Capital Litigation Section handled the case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm the conviction. The Court did so in a decision issued on Friday, December 18.

Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw, Chief of his Appeals Division, for his successful work in this case.