Murder for hire bombshell in Julia Phillips murder trial - | WBTV Charlotte

Murder for hire bombshell in Julia Phillips murder trial


He was the last witness jurors heard Friday afternoon. And, Guy Blankenship left the jury with a lot to think about as he described how Julia Phillips allegedly tried to hire someone to kill her long time boyfriend, Melvin Roberts.

Phillips is facing 30 years to life for allegedly working with an accomplice to strangle Roberts - who was once the Mayor of York, and a well known attorney in town. Investigators say they're still looking for the other unknown suspect.

Phillips says she didn't do it, but was the victim of an unknown robber who tied her up with duct tape and then killed Roberts.

Guy Blankenship told jurors a different story.

The admitted criminal told the jury he was involved in a number of illegal activities -  including what he called "black market plastic surgery, bad checks and credit cards." Blankenship said he's a confidential police informant who helps several police departments in North Carolina and South Carolina conduct undercover drug deals.

Blankenship said Phillips, on several occasions, asked "how much money to kill someone - specifically Melvin."

Blankenship said at one point Phillips offered him "$10,000 to kill Melvin." He testified he didn't do it because "I still had a conscience. I don't mess with kids and I don't mess with old people. Melvin was old."

During questioning by Assistant Solicitor Kris Hodge, who is prosecuting the case, Blankenship told the court he met Phillips years ago through a drug dealer. He said Phillips went to the dealer's house to buy pills.

Blankenship said he and Phillips became acquaintances because they both owned businesses - he had a restaurant and Phillips had a boutique - on the same street in Gaffney.

Blankenship testified that about a month before Roberts' murder, he heard Phillips and Roberts argue because Phillips' son was at the boutique - Julia Inc - and Roberts didn't want him there.

Blankenship said Phillips told him that her "money was about to be out" because Melvin found out she was spending money at Johnny's house {drug dealer} instead of buying clothes" for the boutique.

Blankenship said right around that same time the boyfriend of one of his friends committed murder in Virginia by using duct tape. Blankenship told the jury that Phillips overheard him talking to the friend about the murder and she asked "where is the boy? Is that the type of thing he does? Can you pay him for that?"

Blankenship said Phillips asked another one of his friends, who was "addicted to crack and would do anything for money -  how much money to kill someone."

According to Blankenship, Phillips knew his business wasn't legal and "she would  inquire about murder for hire." He said the last time she asked, he talked to Gaffney Police so they could "mark it down and to let them know it wouldn't be him" if anything ever happened to Roberts.

Blankenship and the defense attorney then had a verbal sparring match, as Attorney Bobby Frederick tried to discredit Blankenship's character and credibility.

Jurors had their eyes peeled on Blankenship, and appeared to listen to every word he said, especially when he and the defense argued and spoke over each other.

Blankenship said "Julia called and held something over my head that I had done illegally with her - to get me to kill Melvin." Blankenship told the jury "what I did doesn't compare to going to prison for murder."

Blankenship told jurors that as recent as Friday he continued to receive phone calls threatening him if he testified in the trial against Phillips.

"I'm still getting phone calls, holding stuff over my head so I wouldn't testify" he said.

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