A onetime law enforcement officer who is facing his second domestic violence-related felony will go to trial next week despite making every effort to avoid the courtroom.
Scott D. Phillips, 37, appeared in Logan County Common Pleas Court on Friday and first argued that the prosecution took too long to try the case before asking for more time to get ready for trial.
He also attempted to get the prosecutor changed for the second time since the case began in late January.
Judge Mark S. O’Connor, however, did not find legal merit to any of the arguments and said the trial will go forward as planned.
Mr. Phillips is charged with a felonious assault, a second-degree felony; third-degree felony abduction; fourth-degree felony domestic violence; and resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor. The charges stem from a series of events over two days in which he allegedly choked his wife Angela with a power cord before making her accompany him to Van Wert and then barricading himself inside their rural Bellefontaine home in a standoff with law enforcement that ended Jan. 26.
He previously served four years in prison after a September 2003 domestic incident in Bellefontaine in which he held his estranged wife at gunpoint while officers of the Bellefontaine Police Department surrounded the scene at 219 W. Williams Ave. He eventually surrendered and was found guilty of kidnapping and other charges.
Mr. Phillips was a part-time West Liberty police officer and Champaign County sheriff’s dispatcher prior to his arrest in 2003.
In the current case, Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee removed his office from the case after Mr. Phillips argued that Mr. Goslee’s brief representation of him during his divorce was a conflict of interest. Hardin County Prosecutor Bradford Bailey was named as the special prosecutor who will take the case to trial.
Regarding a motion to dismiss the case because of speedy trial issues, Judge O’Connor said the request for a new prosecutor constituted a delay by the defense that keeps next week’s trial within the 90-day time allowed to take the case to trial.
Mr. Phillips and his attorneys Daniel Bennett and Peter DeSomma then asked for extra time to find an expert witness, but Mr. Bailey said they shouldn’t need an expert because no forensic evidence will be submitted.
“The state’s contention is that there is no evidence of ligature marks on the neck. Just to hire an expert to come back and say there is no ligature is a waste of time and resources of this county,” the prosecutor said.
Judge O’Connor agreed.
The trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday and is expected to last two days.
Read complete story in Saturday's Examiner.
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