Attempted murder trial underway

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 12, 2011 7:20 AM

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The trial of an Iowa City man charged with attempted murder started Monday.

Gregory Phillips, 56, allegedly intended to kill his landlord and then himself after being forced to move from his residence.

On Sept. 4, 2008, Phillips allegedly entered landlord Mezher Beig’s office with a pistol, aimed, and then pulled the trigger, but the weapon did not fire.

Phillips’ attorney, Victoria Cole, said in her opening statement that Phillips didn’t intend to shoot Beig, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Beig then testified Phillips stuck a gun to his mouth, pressed it against his teeth and lips and said he was going to kill him, The Gazette reported.

“I was just trying to survive,” Beig said, according to The Gazette. “I was trying to move outside, so someone would see us.”

The trial will continue at 9 a.m. today.

— by Michelle McConnaughey

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