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Phillip M.T. Phillips Sentenced To 25 Years For Voluntary Manslaughter

Last updated on Friday, May 10, 2013

(BLOOMINGTON) - Phillip M.T. Phillips was sentenced Thursday morning to 25 years in prison in the death of Ulysses “Lish” Goeth.

Phillips told the court he turned a gun on Goethe last summer with the intent of firing at the man's feet to scare him.

However Phillips shot Goethe in the head, killing him. Phillips says it was an accident.

Phillips pleaded guilty to the crime on April 17 through a plea agreement with a fixed sentence of 25 years, which will be reduced by half if he abides by prison rules. He will also receive 279 days of credit for days already served at the Monroe County Jail.

Part of the plea agreement also dismissed felony charges of criminal recklessness with a firearm, shooting into an inhabited gathering place, and carrying a handgun without a license, with prior felony convictions and near a school.

Phillips, 28, of Bloomington, admitting to shooting and killing Goethe in the early morning hours of July 25 in the 1000 block of North Illinois Street. Goethe, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene, while, just around the corner, hundreds of people waited in line seeking public housing applications.

Phillips and Goethe had been arguing over Phillips' former girlfriend and had engaged in fist fights in the months leading up to the shooting. And Goethe told his younger brother his life may be in danger, and made him promise not to tell.

Phillips said his anger and alcohol made him get out of his car and shot Goethe.

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