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Tag Archive | "sentenced"

Sean Phillips sentenced in murder of daughter “Baby Kate”


 

Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips

The baby’s father, who was the last one to be seen with the infant, is currently serving prison time after being previously convicted of unlawful imprisonment related to his daughter’s disappearance

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on December 9 that Sean Phillips, 25, was sentenced to 19 to 45 years time in prison for the second-degree murder of his infant daughter Katherine Phillips, also known as “Baby Kate.”

“Not only was a little girl denied the opportunity to grow up, but her family was forever changed by this man’s actions,” said Schuette. “Those actions can never be undone, but my one hope is that today’s sentencing provides a small amount of peace in knowing that the person responsible is finally facing the consequences of their actions.”

Phillips was sentenced December 9, 2016 before Judge Peter Wadel in 79th District Court Court. He was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder on October 14, 2016, following a two- week trial.

The conviction followed a joint prosecution by the Attorney General’s office and Mason County Prosecutors Office and a multi-jurisdictional investigation by local, state and federal authorities.

“I’d like to thank Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola, Chief Mark Barnett, Sheriff Kim Cole, the Michigan State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for providing their assistance in this trial and prior investigation,” said Schuette.

Case Background

Phillips was the last person to be seen with four-and-a-half-month-old Katherine Phillips on June 29, 2011. After an argument, Phillips took the infant from her mother’s home. For the next two hours he was unreachable and his whereabouts were unknown.

When Phillips resurfaced at his parents’ house, his daughter was gone. The clothes she had been wearing were found in the pocket of the cargo shorts Phillips was wearing, while her empty car seat and diaper bag were found in the trunk of his vehicle.

His actions and statements following this led to a charge of unlawful imprisonment of the infant. Phillips was convicted of unlawful imprisonment in 2012 by Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola, resulting in a 10-15 year prison sentence for Phillips. Since August 2012, Attorney General Schuette’s Appellate Division has represented Mason County in opposing Sean Phillips’ appeal of that conviction.

This evidence along with statements made while Phillips was serving his unlawful imprisonment sentence then led to the current murder charge.

Schuette and Spaniola filed one open murder charge against Phillips, of Scottville, on October 4, 2013, more than two years after Baby Kate went missing. The charge alleged that Sean Phillips murdered his daughter, Katherine ‘Kate’ Phillips on June 29, 2011. By definition, an Open Murder charge allows jurors to determine the level of the defendant’s culpability.

He was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder in October 2016.

Despite exhaustive efforts by law enforcement over the past five years, Baby Kate has never been found.

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Man sentenced in fatal accident


 

Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett

A 24-year-old Howard City man was sentenced June 27 in the death of another Howard City man.
Ryan Patrick Bennett, 24, was charged in January with Operating while intoxicated causing death and Reckless driving causing death, in connection with the July 20, 2012 traffic crash that led to the death Scott Gregory, 25.
Bennett pled no contest in May to Operating while intoxicated causing death, and operating while intoxicated with a high blood alcohol content.

The initial story was that he saw a body lying in West Edgerton Street shortly before 2:30 a.m., on Friday, July 20. He then proceeded home (a few blocks away) and told his father, who called 911. He was arrested at the scene for driving while intoxicated, but not officially charged with Gregory’s death until January, after evidence recovered from Bennett’s vehicle was analyzed by the Michigan State Police crime lab and connected Bennett’s vehicle to the crash.

According to information printed in the Greenville Daily News, it’s unknown whether Bennett’s car actually caused Gregory’s death, though evidence shows he ran over him. Both men were reportedly at a bar in Howard City that evening, and Gregory, who had a blood alcohol level of .26, walked home. Bennett, who had a blood alcohol level between .18 and .19, was on his way home when he hit Gregory. The prosecution noted that medical evidence suggested the possibility that another vehicle may also have hit the Gregory.

The Daily News reported that Bennett was sentenced June 27 to 60 days in jail, with credit for 13 days served, and 30 days suspended. He was also sentenced to probation and alcohol treatment, 360 hours of community service, $7,700 in restitution and court costs.

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Rockford man sentenced for tax evasion


Chiropractor Kerry Kilpatrick has been sentenced.

Grand Rapids chiropractor Kerry Thomas Kilpatrick, age 57, of Rockford, was sentenced Tuesday, May 3, to federal prison for felony tax evasion, announced U.S. Attorney Donald Davis.
U.S. District Judge Robert Holmes Bell, Kilpatrick ordered that Kilpatrick serve two years in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. The Judge also ordered Kilpatrick to cooperate with the IRS and pay restitution of $85,014 for taxes owed in 2002. The Judge noted that Kilpatrick also owes a total of $467,243.91 for tax years1999-2007, not including interest and penalties.
Kilpatrick admitted that he evaded paying taxes for income that he earned as owner of the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center in Grand Rapids for the 2002 tax year. In a written plea agreement, Kilpatrick acknowledged that did not any pay federal income taxes on income earned from 1999-2007, during which time the Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center had gross deposits of over $3,000,000.00.
According to court records, during 1999 through 2007, Kilpatrick was a self-employed chiropractor at Kilpatrick Chiropractic Life Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kilpatrick paid himself through direct payments from his business credit union account without including any withholdings for state or federal payroll taxes. Kilpatrick also used the business credit union account to make direct payment on his home mortgage, along with other personal expenditures.
During 2001 through 2002, Kilpatrick formed numerous holding companies, corporations, and enterprises that lacked any economic substance and were located in Nevada, Oregon, and the Republic of Panama. He used the entities to evade his income taxes, pay local property taxes on his real estate, and to hold the title on his 1999 Ford Expedition, $63,000 Tiffin Motor Home, and other real property. After failing to file timely 1999 though 2005 personal tax returns,
Internal Revenue Service personnel provided Kilpatrick with documents entitled “Why Do I Have To Pay Taxes?” and “The Truth About Frivolous Arguments.” In 2006, Kilpatrick filed tax returns and reported over $1 million in adjust gross income, but claimed false Schedule “A” deductions equal to the adjusted gross income, causing zero taxable income.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Bell emphasized that instead of relying on the advice of professionals, like CPAs and attorneys, Kilpatrick choose to follow the advice of “internet goofballs” in determining whether he should pay taxes. “Those who choose to disrespect the law and flagrantly continue to use frivolous arguments will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez. “The law is crystal clear; people must file accurate returns and pay their taxes.”
This case was investigated by special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis and Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Beckering III.

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