Phillips gets 7 years after pointing gun to landlord's head

BY HAYLEY BRUCE | APRIL 29, 2011 7:20 AM

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Gregory Phillips said he's sorry about putting a gun to his landlord's head more than three years ago.

But that's not enough to keep him out of prison.

Phillips, 57, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison — two years for assault with intent to inflict serious injury and five for going armed with intent.

Because Phillips has already served two years and 237 days in jail, he has fulfilled his sentence for the first crime. Phillips will also need to pay a total of $1,375 for his crimes. Sixth District Judge Judy Baumgartner suspended the payment, meeting the request of his attorney.

Phillips was originally charged with attempted murder and going armed with intent after he put a gun to his landlord's mouth during a confrontation</a> in 2008. A jury found him guilty of the lesser charge April 14.

Before the sentencing, prosecuting attorney Anne Lahey asked the judge to think of the victim and keep Phillip's previous possession and OWI convictions in mind.

Defense attorney Victoria Cole asked Baumgartner to consider Phillips' history and character.

Cole said Phillips has a 33-year-old son, was never married, and was honorably discharged from the military for medical reasons. In the summer of 2008, Cole said, Phillips developed melanoma lesions and a central nervous system disorder because of exposure to Agent Orange while in the military.

"We believe the sentence not only reflects the seriousness of the crime but promotes respect for the law, promotes just punishment, and protects the public from further harm from this client," Cole said.

Phillips told the judge he never tried to hide anything and that he cooperated with the police, apologizing for his crime.

"I destroyed everything in my life," he said. "I'm sorry for what I did. I see what drugs and alcohol can do to people, wreck their lives and their families' lives and friends' lives."

Baumgartner responded by reminding Phillips of the weight of his crime before his sentence.

"You're lucky you're not facing a murder charge," the judge said. "This was a horrific event for the victim of this offense to have a loaded gun placed in his face … but the danger you put him in, no one should ever have to experience something like that, Mr. Phillips."

Phillips also said he gave up drinking, never had a drug problem, and assured the judge he was harmless.

"I'm a straight-up guy," he said, eyes glistening. "I just lost my mind that one time after a promise and a handshake, and that's what got me into this — I'm truly sorry."

But Lahey said shedidn't believe his apology.

"I don't think he's sorry at all," she said. "He called the victim arrogant during his trial and claimed the victim embellished his testimony. I don't think he showed any remorse."

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