Former inmate testifies Phillips said he got rid of the baby.

October 10, 2016
Rasaun Burton. MCP file photo.

Rasaun Burton. MCP file photo.

Former inmate testifies Phillips said he got rid of the baby. 


LUDINGTON — The former prison mate of Sean Michael Phillips appeared in court Friday and Monday for testimony in the Victory Township man’s murder trial. Rushaun Burton said Friday that he met Phillips after Phillips was convicted of the unlawful imprisonment (kidnapping) of his 4-month-old daughter, Katherine “Baby Kate” Phillips. Phillips is currently on trial for the June 2011 murder of the infant.

Burton told the jury that one day he and Sean were talking about paternity cases two-male celebrities were in when Sean made an unsolicited admission.

“He had a baby that was not his,” said Burton. According to Burton, Phillips said the child’s mother had been sleeping around.

“He picked the baby up and got rid of the baby,” said Burton. He said Sean didn’t get angry, but his face was red.

Burton then said Phillips ended the statement by saying, “They can’t charge me because they’ll never find the baby.”

After being transferred to another prison, Burton informed the Michigan Attorney General’s Office about the conversation.

When asked by the prosecution why he came forward with the information, Burton said it was a decision he reached only after prayer.

“It was weighing on me,” said Burton. “God told me to do the right thing, and that was the right thing to do.”

Burton testified he didn’t get any favors for the testimony and that he never asked for any deals from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Defense attorney David Glancy brought up the number of times Burton had been denied parole prior to testifying against Phillips. Glancy also brought up Burton’s prison violations and alleged lying to corrections officials.

“I’m here to do the right thing,” said Burton.

“I almost got killed because of this case,” he added.

Since testimony began two weeks ago, jurors have heard from Kate’s mother, Ariel Courtland; Phillips’ mother, Kim Phillips; officers who spoke with Phillips on the day Kate disappeared; Phillips’ neighbors; and experts in DNA, cellphones and computers.

Lawyers say there could be closing statements as soon as Tuesday.

With reports from WZZM, WOOD