Phillips to appeal murder charges of Baby Kate.

December 9, 2014
Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — Sean Michael Phillips is asking for an appeal of Judge Richard Cooper’s decision to allow the murder charges against him to proceed. Phillips’ attorney, David Glancy, filed the appeal today in 51st Circuit Court.

Phillips is charged with the murder of his 4-month-old daughter, Katherine Phillips. Also known as “Baby Kate,” Katherine has been missing since June 29, 2011. Phillips is currently serving a 10-15 year prison sentence for unlawful imprisonment, also known as kidnaping.

On Friday, Cooper ruled to reverse the September decision by 79th District Court Judge Wadel to drop the murder charges, based on lack of evidence. Cooper said he was hesitant to reverse Wadel’s decision calling it “a penny wise and a pound foolish.”

Cooper ordered today that the Michigan appellate defender’s office take the case.

“This is an appeal by leave and the court of appeals has to agree to hear the appeal,” Glancy told MCP. “It is not an appeal by right, which the court of appeals would have to hear.”

In September, Judge Wadel dropped the charges during a preliminary examination, citing there isn’t enough evidence to bind the case to circuit court. After hearing arguments by the prosecution, Cooper reversed Wadel’s decision.

In order to proceed, Phillips will have to file an application for leave to appeal. If the motion panel grants the application, then it proceeds to a separate case call panel just like an ordinary appeal would.