Woman gets life after her teen hit man killed wrong target

AP News
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Posted: Jul 24, 2015 11:38 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman was sentenced to life in prison Thursday, more than two years after prosecutors say she hired a teen to kill a man, and he killed the wrong man by mistake.

A judge sentenced Karlita Desean Phillips of Greenwood after a jury found her guilty of accessory before the fact of murder and soliciting a minor to commit a felony, according to prosecutor David Stumbo.

Authorities have said that Phillips, 41, hired a 17-year-old to kill her estranged husband in March 2013, but the teen killed her husband's brother, 31-year-old Jamil Phillips, by mistake.

Jamil Phillips was ambushed as he slid his key into the door of his home in Abbeville, investigators say

Stumbo said Karlita Phillips was motivated in part by life insurance payouts due to her at her husband's death. Dale Phillips Jr. had a life insurance policy through work that would have paid Karlita Phillips $500,000 at his death, prosecutors said.

Through her own employer, Karlita Phillips took out an additional $25,000 life insurance policy on her husband several months after separating from him, and several months before the shooting.

The teen, who is awaiting trial for murder in Phillips' death, was sentenced to 45 years in prison earlier this year for killing another man in an unrelated case. At trial, he testified he and Karlita Phillips were in a sexual relationship and that she agreed to pay him $13,000 to kill her estranged husband.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP