Trial resumes in LaPorte 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.




    In two days, two forensic analysts say DNA proves Kathy and Garry Phillips are the parents of the baby.

    The trial is moving slowly. Constantly objecting, the defense is giving little wiggle room, making the prosecution work for every witness and every piece of evidence.

    Tuesday, a number of witnesses took the stand, including several family members.

    We heard from Garry Phillips, Kathy's husband, without the jury in the room and only briefly. The prosecution only asked Garry his name before he evoked the 5th Amendment and asked the judge to appoint him a public defender. Garry is expected to meet with the public defender Wednesday morning and it's still up in the air whether he will be a witness.

    Kathy's mother did testify Tuesday. She says Kathy never told her she was pregnant. Mother actually says she was worried about Kathy because it looked like her daughter was losing weight.

    A manager at a plastic company was another witness Tuesday. He says his company in Louisiana manufactures the plastic garbage bags presented to him by the prosecution. The witness also said the two bags come from the same roll based on how they look and unique features or flaws.

    Earlier in the trial, the jury learned one of the garbage bags was found in the Phillips' home. The baby was found in the other.

    One of Garry Phillips' co-workers also testified, saying the garbage bags in the courtroom are the same kind they have at work.

    Meanwhile, the prosecution wants to use a video as evidence. Initially, the judge wouldn't allow it, partly because he says the prosecution can't prove the time and date of the footage. But at the end of the day Tuesday, the judge agreed to watch the video, without the jury in the room. It was home video footage of Kathy and her daughter, who is now almost five years old. After watching the video, the judge then decided to allow the tape to be used as evidence as long as the entire tape is shown.

    Week two of the trial began Monday. A forensic analyst says DNA studies show Kathy and Garry Phillips are the baby's parents. She also said DNA samples, on the towel and washcloth the baby was found with, show traces of the baby and Kathy.

    Meanwhile, the defense challenges the credibility of the DNA analyst and the study. At one point, the prosecution suggested exhuming the baby for additional testing, and idea the judge considered. But the defense rejected the idea.

    Constantly, the defense objects to the prosecution's questions and witnesses' answers. Monday concluded with a dispute over an analyst who studies genetic profiles. The lawyers and judge will discuss that first thing tomorrow morning.

    Earlier Monday, the lead detective took the stand, making that almost ten hours between Friday and Monday. Friday, he testified blood may have been found in the Phillips' bathroom.

    Monday the defense says that doesn't matter because the witness couldn't prove if it was definitely blood, where it came from, or who it belongs to.

    On Friday, the lead investigator, a LaPorte County detective, 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 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.

    Testimony began last week in Phillip's trial. Phillips has continued to deny ever being pregnant. But in opening statements last 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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