Judge: Life in prison for woman convicted of killing former York mayor

Posted September 5, 2013 7:19 pm | Filed under Crime and Courts, Featured, Local News

It took an upstate jury just over four hours to convict a York County woman in the murder of her longtime boyfriend.

Just after 6 p.m. Thursday, a jury delivered a guilty verdict for Julia Phillips — the woman charged with murder in the brutal slaying of her longtime boyfriend, former York Mayor Melvin Roberts.

The eight-day trial just west of Rock Hill shed light on a number of inconsistencies in Phillips’ previous statements to police — and Phillips refused to take the witness stand in her own defense.

Those inconsistencies in her statements include the description of the robber, what he said to her during the assault, when she first noticed Roberts’ body, and other details about what she saw and heard.

Phillips gave about a dozen statements to police in the weeks following the murder.

At one point she told police she saw the headlights on Roberts’ truck coming up the driveway, even though she claimed at the time that her eyes were wrapped with duct tape.

Prosecutors said she killed the well-known politician for his money after he threatened to cut off financial support.

The defense called the whole case a rush to judgment, saying investigators never entertained any theory other than that Phillips killed Melvin Roberts.

Phillips will now spend the rest of her life in prison.

WSOC-TV contributed to this report.