Judges: Sean Phillips will stand trial for baby Kate’s murder

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD)—The imprisoned father of baby Kate will stand trial for murder.

In their nine-page ruling released Friday, three judges from the Michigan Court of Appeals concluded there was enough evidence of criminal intent to charge Sean Phillips with open murder in the death of Katherine Phillips.

Baby Kate disappeared from Ludington in July 2011. The infant was 4-months old at the time. Her body has never been found.

The Michigan Court of Appeals released its ruling in the case after listening to arguments from Phillips’ lawyer that a confession letter written by Phillips was not enough for him to be charged with murder.

Phillips wrote the letter to baby Kate’s mom, Ariel Courtland, after his conviction for unlawful imprisonment in connection to baby Kate’s disappearance.

In the five-page letter, Phillips claimed he was angry and ripped the car seat out of the back of his car with his daughter inside.  Phillips wrote his daughter was thrown from the car seat.

Baby Kate stopped breathing so he drove her out into the country and left her body, although he doesn’t remember where, stated the letter.

The panel of appellate judges pointed to additional “admissions” by Phillips, including testimony from another inmate who said Phillips told him he got rid of the baby and that he couldn’t be charged because there was no body.

The Michigan Attorney General had originally charged Phillips with murder, but a Mason County District Court judge dismissed the case saying the letter wasn’t enough to charge Phillips with a murder charge.

However, another Mason County judge overturned the decision and reinstated the murder charge.

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