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Baby Kate trial takes less dramatic turn in week two

6:44 PM, Apr 23, 2012   |    comments
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  • Katherine Phillips (Courtesy: Michigan State Police)
  • Day 6 of Sean Phillips Trial - photo from Jon Mills

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The jurors in the trial of the father of a missing Ludington child Monday watched video of a police interview with the man recorded shortly after his arrest.

Sean Phillips is on trial for a charge of unlawful imprisonment, connected to the disappearance of Katherine Phillips, who was four months old when she disappeared on June 29, 2011.

In the 90-minute interview, Phillips talked to officers but refused to answer most of their questions -- including ones pointed at finding Baby Kate.

Prosecutors also introduced evidence from Phillips' computer files. Gerald McCarthy, a forensic computer expert, testified Phillips made efforts to keep his computer from being tracked by websites he visited. But McCarthy also found evidence on the hard drive -- addresses of adoption, paternity and DNA websites. He also discovered past searches for ways to avoid paying child support and information on suggesting Phillips wanted to fake an adoption. But under cross examination, McCarthy was not able to place the searches in a timeline leading up to Baby Kate's disappearance.

"What was recovered was recovered and the dates and times were not available," he told defense attorney Annette Smedley.

Michigan State Police Trooper Eric Young testified he searched two Detroit-area homes for Baby Kate last July. The homes belonged to two Michigan couples who wanted to adopt. Phillips looked at their parent profiles online.

"They allowed us to look in the house, the upstairs, downstairs, basement, and garage," said Trooper Young.

The child was not at either location, and the trooper could not find any connection between them and Phillips.

"They pulled up their account and they showed me their account like I said with e-mails," testified Young.

Phillips' trial is expected to continue through the end of the week. 

Jon Mills

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