Jury Deliberations Start In ‘Baby Kate’ Murder Trial

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A jury in northern Michigan went home without a verdict after a few hours of deliberations in the trial of a man charged with killing his 4-month-old daughter.

Jurors will return Thursday to the courthouse in Mason County.

Sean Phillips is charged with killing Katherine Phillips, known as “Baby Kate,” although her body hasn’t been found. She disappeared five years ago in the Ludington area.

Jurors heard closing arguments Wednesday. A judge said there’s not enough evidence for a first-degree murder charge, leaving the jury with second-degree murder or a lesser charge to consider.

The evidence included a letter written by Phillips that says Kate is in a peaceful place. But defense attorney David Glancy says there’s not enough evidence to show that Kate is dead.

Phillips has been imprisoned since 2012, serving a 10 to 15 year sentence after being convicted of unlawful imprisonment for failing to return Kate to her mother, Ariel Courtland.

Prosecutors have said Phillips took the baby from Courtland because he feared a court-ordered paternity test would show he was the father. Courtland said Phillips wanted to put Kate up for adoption, but she refused.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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