Former U.S. attorney joins Sean Michaels defense team

March 4, 2014
Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips

LUDINGTON — Fox 17 TV of Grand Rapids has reported that a former U.S. Attorney will be part of the defense team for Sean Michael Phillips, accused of killing his 4-month-old daughter Katherine (Baby Kate) Phillips in June 2011.

John Smietanka, a former U.S. attorney for the West Michigan District, will be on Phillips’ taxpayer-funded defense team, assisting court-appointed defense attorney David Glancy of Ludington. The state attorney general announced in October 2o13 that it would assist Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola in prosecuting the case against Phillips.

Also on the defense team is Gene Debbaudt, a former head of West Michigan’s FBI office.

The 23-year-old Victory Township resident, is currently serving a 10- to 15-year prison sentence after being convicted in April 2012 of unlawful imprisonment for taking Kate from her mother, Ariel Courtland, on June 29, 2011. Baby Kate has never been found. Local detectives believe her body was left somewhere in northwestern Mason County.

Phillips is scheduled to appear in 79th District Court on April 3 and 4 for a preliminary examination in front of Judge Peter Wadel.

Area Churches


Subscribe to MCP via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 22,356 other subscribers