Phillips arraigned on murder charges

October 4, 2013
sean phillips arraignment

Sean Phillips is arraigned by Magistrate Baker

Ariel Courtland, seated left, was in the courtroom along with detectives Wells, standing left, and Kinney

Ariel Courtland, seated left, was in the courtroom along with detectives Wells, standing left, and Kinney

Sitting in the Mason County courtroom today, besides members of the press, were Ariel Courtland, mother of Baby Kate, and also Ludington Police Detective J.B. Wells, Mason County Sheriff Det. Mike Kenney and Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola.

Phillips is scheduled for a preliminary examination in 79th District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. The purpose of the preliminary exam is to determine if there is probable cause to turn the case over to circuit court. However, a source told MCP that it is likely that examination will be rescheduled to allow the defense attorney enough time to study all court and police records in relation to the case.

Earlier in the day, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, along with Spaniola and members of local law enforcement, held a press conference at Ludington Municipal Complex. During that time, Schuette stated that Phillips murdered Baby Kate and that investigators had collected evidence that will prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Schuette would not specify what the evidence was.

However, in June of this year, two years after Baby Kate disappeared, an extensive search was held in Grant Township, looking for a specific combination of plant materials that were found on Phillips’ shoes. Ludington Detective J.B. Wells told Interlochen Public Radio recently that because of the search, investigators had narrowed down the plant material combination to one square mile.

Schuette would not comment on whether any human remains have been found in relation to the case or if the search for those remains has been called off. 

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