Woman Gets 9-15 Years In Boyfriend’s 2004 Shooting Death

GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ/AP) – A Grand Rapids woman has been sentenced to nine to 15 years in prison in the shotgun killing of her boyfriend nine years ago.

Fifty-five-year-old Joyce R. Phillips of Grand Rapids pleaded guilty Dec. 6 in the shooting death of 44-year-old Michael A. Richardson.

Richardson died Feb. 12, 2004. Phillips at first told police she was elsewhere and didn’t see what happened but confessed in 2012 that she killed him after a fight. She said she tried to block out memories of the killing, but it kept popping up in her head.

The Kent Metro Cold Case Team investigated the killing, and Phillips agreed to plead guilty in exchange for dismissal of perjury and repeat-offender charges.

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