There was never any argument that the shotgun blast that killed Phillip Glodo came from Johnny Phillips’ 12-gauge.
The only question was whether Phillips killed Glodo deliberately or if the death was the result of an accident or self defense after an argument escalated into a physical confrontation
After two days of testimony and a little more than an hour of deliberation, a jury of 10 women and two men found Phillips guilty of murder Wednesday evening.
“We are disappointed with your verdict but we respect it,” Phillips’ attorney, David Hoskins, told the jury as he prepared for the penalty phase.
Hoskins and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, who prosecuted the case, both praised the jury members for the attention they gave during the trial.
“I’m happy with the verdict and Phillip Glodo’s family is happy,” Steele said.
Phillips did not testify during the trial, but told detectives that following a verbal argument at a friend’s house, Glodo came up to him in the parking lot of Star of Bethlehem Church on Ward Cemetery Road armed with a knife or a gun.
Phillips grabbed what investigators later described as a Franchi 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun he kept in his truck and got out to confront Glodo.
“The man chased me down and was drunk,” Phillips told Laurel County Sheriff’s Detective Charles Loomis in a taped interview that was played for the jury to hear. “Phil was a mean dude.”
Several witnesses testified to seeing Glodo drinking beer at various locations throughout the day including, Philips’ home and Capps’ home.
According to the medical examiner, Glodo’s blood alcohol was .073, just under the legal limit in Kentucky of .08. Several witnesses testified that Glodo was naturally a loud individual who got louder with more alcohol.
In the next few seconds, the shotgun fired, and according to testimony from the medical examiner’s office, struck Glodo in the back of the head.
“I did not draw down on him and pull that trigger,” Phillips told Loomis in the interview, explaining he was using the gun to push Glodo away from him when it went off accidentally.
Loomis testified that Phillips told him there had been a struggle between the two men and Glodo turned sideways as the shotgun fired.
“It was an accident,” Phillips told Loomis.
While investigators did not find a handgun, a Green River fixed-blade knife was recovered at the scene. No fingerprints were recovered, but forensics experts were able to extract DNA from the handle.
Allison Turnstill, a forensic biologist with the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab in Frankfort, said comparisons to samples from Phillips and Glodo, excluded Phillips, but were inconclusive concerning Glodo.
“That means we could not include or exclude Mr. Glodo,” Turnstill testified.
In the call he made to Laurel County 9-1-1, Phillips told the dispatcher he had shot Glodo in the face or chest, but because it was dark he could not determine exactly where. He is heard multiple times pleading for the ambulance to hurry to the scene.
The dispatcher told Phillips to put the shotgun back inside is vehicle and remain at the scene, which Hoskins noted is exactly what Phillips did.
Steele said the death penalty was not an option in this case because under Kentucky Law, there must be an aggravating circumstances connected to the murder such as kidnapping, burglary or robbery.
“There are six or seven items on the list of circumstances,” Steele said. “This case did not have any of those.”
Under Kentucky Law, Phillips faces 20 to 50 years or life in prison. After hearing testimony from Angie Phillips, Johnny Phillips’ wife, the jury deliberated and recommended a 30-year prison sentence. Steele said Judge John Knox Mills, who will formally sentence Phillips at 1 p.m., Aug. 21, is not bound by the jury’s recommendation.
Phillips must serve 85 percent of his sentence or a maximum of 20 years before he is eligible to go before the parole board. He will receive credit for the time he has been held in the Laurel County Detention Center where he has been held while awaiting trial.
Staff writer Dean Manning may be reached at email@example.com.