First week of trial ends for dead infant case

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

Court proceedings are scheduled to resume in the trial of 31-year-old Kathy Phillips. Phillips is facing murder and neglect of a dependent charges involving a dead infant alleged to be Phillips' child.

NewsCenter16 has been following the trial and will be posting updates directly from the courthouse throughout the day. Simply refresh the page for the latest on the trial.

Remote Reporter
Alana Greenfogel, WNDU
Reporting via cell phone through Twitter.com.
  • 04:30 PM Court dismissed until Monday. Week one of Kathy Phillips' trial is over.

  • 03:40 PM Detective is back to talking about the seized garbage bags found in Phillips' home.

  • 03:20 PM Prosecution shows video of Kathy Phillips' giving DNA sample to police.

  • 02:42 PM Court takes brief afternoon break.

  • 02:03 PM Detective says investigators possibly found blood in the sink and bathtub in the bathroom at Phillips' home.

  • 01:48 PM Detective says beige towel in Phillips' bathroom was collected for a visual comparison to the towel baby was found wrapped in.

  • 01:43 PM Detective describes process of examining garbage bag found in Phillips' attic, including a trip to a plastic company in Louisiana.

  • 01:15 PM Detective's testimony continues.

  • 12:08 PM Trial breaks for lunch.

  • 12:08 PM Detective specifically points out a beige towel found in the bathroom and a roll of garbage bags found on a shelf in the garage.

  • 12:06 PM Prosecution and detective walk jury through a series of pictures both outside and inside the Phillip residence.

  • 11:33 AM Detective describes process of sampling DNA from Garry Phillips, Kathy's husband.

  • 11:28 AM Judge calls for brief recess.

  • 10:40 AM Detective continues testimony by analyzing a stained towel and washcloth found on the scene.

  • 10:10 AM Testimony with detective continues.

  • 09:41 AM Court takes short break.

  • 09:22 AM Explaining a key piece of evidence--black plastic garbage bag found in Phillips' home.

  • 09:22 AM Detective describes background in forensic analysis and investigating blood stain patterns.

  • 08:49 AM LaPorte County detective takes the stand.

  • 08:46 AM Defense argues prosecution hasn't proved yet a crime was committed because there's no proof the baby was alive.

  • 08:43 AM Judge enters courtroom.

While the prosecution gets into the meat of its case Friday, a LaPorte County detective spends the entire day in the witness stand.

He focuses on two pieces of evidence taken from Phillips' home--a garbage bag and a towel. The prosecution considers them significant because in March of 2006, back in the woods, the baby was found wrapped in a towel in a garbage bag.

First the towel. The detective says officers collected the towel from Phillips’ bathroom to visually compare it to the towel the baby was found in.

And the garbage bag. It was found in the Phillips' attic filled with costumes. We learn the bag was taken for several visual exams, including to a plastic company in Louisiana. And to conclude three days of testimony, the prosecution tries to prove the garbage bag found with the baby and the bag found in Phillips’ home, may have come from the same roll.

The detective also says there’s a possibility blood had been found in the bathroom at the Phillips’ home—in the sink and in the tub. They haven’t indicated if it truly is blood or whose blood it may be.

The State wrapped up Friday showing a video of police taking DNA samples from Kathy Phillips. Earlier, police say they also took DNA samples from her husband, Garry Phillips.

Keep in mind the defense is standing by its argument. Whether or not Phillips had the baby, whether or not the garbage bags and towels match up, according to the defense, the baby was a stillborn, so Phillips can’t be a murderer.

Trial is set to begin again Monday morning.

On Thursday, testimony left the judge considering declaring it a mistrial. As of Friday afternoon, there hasn't been another work said about this since. While the prosecution was questioning a key witness Thursday, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the baby, he said he didn't know how the baby died or if she was stillborn or born alive.

He also said in other cases, the mother has provided that information and helped the investigation.

The defense found that last statement unconstitutional, placing the burden on Kathy Phillips to defend herself. Rather, it's the prosecution's burden to prove. The defense called it a "terrible blunder" on the part of the prosecution for not informing its witness the laws on what he can say and not say.

The judge allowed testimony to continue, but is considering the motion for a mistrial.

Testimony began Wednesday morning in Phillip's trial. Phillips has continued to deny ever being pregnant. But in opening statements Wednesday, the defense wouldn't deny or confirm a pregnancy; rather, they insisted Kathy would not murder her own infant. The defense suggested the baby was stillborn. Phillip’s defense attorney also asked the jury to consider the fact that there's a chance Kathy could have lied about not being pregnant.

In March of 2006, Kathy’s husband, Garry Phillips, found the body of a baby girl wrapped in a towel in a plastic bag near Phillips’ house.

She was arrested in October of 2006.

The highly-publicized trial has been postponed at least three times.

Several witnesses are expected to be called during the trial including character witnesses, police detectives, and DNA experts.

Stay with NewsCenter 16 throughout the day as we bring you continuous updates from the courthouse.


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