Lawyers for a former lawman accused of felonious assault and abduction acknowledged at the beginning of a two-day trial that Scott D. Phillips is guilty of some, but not all, of the charges.
“No doubt he is guilty of some things,” attorney Daniel Bennett said during opening arguments Tuesday in Logan County Common Pleas Court, “but he didn’t do everything the state says he did.”
Mr. Phillips, 37, 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 January.
Special Prosecutor Bradford Bailey said the evidence will show the defendant choked his wife Angela by tightly wrapping her hooded sweatshirt around her neck and then tried to choke her with a sweeper’s power cord.
He only stopped when she asked to use the bathroom and she agreed to let him go with her to Van Wert to pick up her daughter early from a family visit.
During the trip, he repeatedly held her by her safety belt when they came to stops or slowed down.
She was able to escape with the help of a rescuer in the lot of a Van Wert McDonald’s restaurant. He drove from the scene and then barricaded himself inside their County Road 18 home in a standoff with law enforcement that ended Jan. 26.
Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office twice used a Taser to subdue the defendant.
Mrs. Phillips took the stand Tuesday and told the jury of seven women and five men the defendant became enraged after she told him he could not go with her to Van Wert.
“In all the time we’ve been married I’ve never seen him that angry,” she said. “I thought at the time and I still believe that if the witnesses (at McDonald’s) hadn’t have grabbed me from him, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Mr. Phillips previously served time in prison after a September 2003 domestic incident in Bellefontaine in which he held his estranged wife 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. Mr. Bailey, Hardin County’s prosecutor, was named special prosecutor.
The trial is set to conclude today.
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