Julia Phillips back in court after former mayor murder ruling - | WBTV Charlotte

Julia Phillips back in court after former mayor murder ruling


Julia Phillips, the South Carolina woman convicted in the murder of Melvin Roberts - the former Mayor of York, was back in court for a probation violation hearing.

Phillips was convicted in September for her role in the murder of Roberts. Prosecutors contend, and jurors agreed, that Phillips plotted and conspired with an unknown and unidentified accomplice to kill Roberts – her longtime boyfriend.

Investigators say Roberts was strangled with a zip tie in the driveway of his York home in 2010.

Phillips was not the actual killer, but police are still investigating the case. The Judge sentenced Phillips to life in prison.

Back in 2011, Phillips pleaded guilty to stealing rent money from Roberts' real estate company. The judge gave Phillips a suspended sentence, put her on probation, and ordered her to pay $2400 restitution and court fees.

According to the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardons; Phillips has only paid $1170.00. She owes $1230. 

On Tuesday, Judge Keith Kelly decided to terminate Phillips' probation since she's serving a life sentence. Judge Kelly turned the remaining money she owes into a civil judgement.

The ruling means the victim's family won't be able to recover any money from Phillips until she dies - if she has an estate.

Both of Melvin Roberts' sons were in court for the hearing.

"Just to see her, just to see appear in court and see if she would have anything to say whatsoever"said Ronnie Roberts. "This points to her greed that she could steal from Dad before she killed him, stole from him after - and has no remorse whatsoever. She still would not tell us - or the police - who, or if anyone else, was involved in Dad's murder."

"It was important to me that I wanted everyone to hear how, after she murdered my father, she continued to steal from him" said David Roberts, who asked if the judge would order any money Phillips earns in prison be used to pay off the amount owed. The judge told him he would likely have to go to civil court to get that.

"I'm thinking snicker money - if she gets to wash dishes" said David Roberts. "I didn't want to have to wait until she's dead. I thought along the way if she gets any money from any means then she should have to pay us. She should have to pay her debt to my dad."

This is the first time Phillips was seen publicly since she was sent to a maximum security prison for Roberts' murder.

Phillips was dressed in a prison jumpsuit, and in foot shackles, chains, and handcuffs. She didn't say much in court - just "yes sir" to the judge when he asked her a question.
According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Phillips has been permanently assigned to the Camille Griffin Graham Institution in Columbia - a maximum security facility for women. 

Anyone with information about Roberts' murder is asked to call police in York, S.C.

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