Phillips sentenced to most 40 years in jail for homicide of Charleston officer

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The person convicted of capturing and killing Charleston Police Officer Cassie Johnson in 2020 has acquired the utmost sentence of 40 years in jail for the second-degree homicide cost.

Kanawha County Circuit Decide Jennifer Bailey sentenced Joshua Phillips on Wednesday in entrance of a crowded courtroom that included the households of Johnson, Phillips and lots of members of the Charleston Police Division.

Phillips confronted 10-40 in jail for second-degree homicide, which he was discovered responsible of by a jury in June. Phillips was additionally sentenced to 6 months in jail for a easy drug possession cost.

Bailey stated she realized so much about Phillips whereas reviewing his presentence report together with a legal historical past relationship again to 2004. She advised the courtroom earlier than sentencing that there’s a stark distinction between the 28-year outdated Johnson and Phillips.

Officer Cassie Johnson

“We’ve a younger lady with targets, a ardour for all times. She beloved the outside, water, tenting, her household, mates and animals. She had targets that she made and reached. I say that she surpassed these targets,” she stated.

“Then we’ve got a person who didn’t trouble to finish an schooling, got here up with no talent set, no technique of help, and no indication there’s a contribution to society in any method.”

Phillips and Johnson exchanged gunfire throughout an altercation on Garrison Avenue on Dec. 1, 2020. Johnson was responding to a parking grievance the place Phillips had illegally parked his automotive on a neighbor’s property. Sprint cam and physique cam footage of the incident was proven to the courtroom in the course of the week-long trial. Johnson died two days later from her gunshot wound.

Phillips claimed self-defense in the course of the trial. On Wednesday, his legal professional requested for a home-confinement sentence. Phillips additionally made a quick assertion.

“I wish to apologize for the grief I’ve brought on her family and friends. I apologize for my actions inflicting the loss of life of Cassie Johnson. If I may change what occurred or commerce locations along with her, I’d,” he stated.

Emotional sufferer affect statements by Johnson’s household and a good friend got following the assertion by Phillips. Johnson’s mom, Sheryl Johnson, addressed the notion of the potential of residence confinement in her assertion. She stated, “my daughter didn’t get residence confinement. She’s confined to a six-by-six grave in Sissonville.”

Sheryl Johnson, the mom of Cassie Johnson, speaks on Wednesday earlier than sentencing of Joshua Phillips. Picture by Jake Flatley

She ended by forgiving Phillips, saying, “I do know you gained’t perceive this, perhaps yow will discover a bible and skim up on it. I forgive you for killing my lovely baby. I do know if I don’t forgive you, I can’t be forgiven and I’ll by no means see her once more and that’s not going to occur. I’m going to see her once more.”

Chelsea Johnson, Cassie’s sister, additionally spoke in entrance of the courtroom saying, “It’s been 19 months since I’ve been capable of converse to my sister and I’ve a lifetime to go. A lifetime of reminiscences that she is not going to be part of due to Joshua Phillips.”

“My life has modified eternally due to the alternatives he made that day,” she stated.

As a part of the sentencing, Phillips can pay restitution of $8,000.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Police Chief Tyke Hunt launched the next assertion Wednesday concerning the sentencing:

“Right now’s sentencing can hopefully give some closure to the household of Cassie Johnson, her mates, our brothers and sisters within the Charleston Police Division and the complete Charleston neighborhood. This has been a protracted and painful course of, however all alongside we’ve got maintained religion and belief within the justice system and right this moment is not any exception. Our job now could be to proceed to honor the legacy of our fallen sister and work to dwell as much as the excessive requirements Cassie set as a Charleston police officer. We’ll always remember the fervour and honor Cassie delivered to her job defending Charleston and we promise to try each day to dwell as much as these expectations.”

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