Woman pleads guilty to 2004 murder

7:36 PM, Dec 7, 2012   |    comments
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Joyce Phillips

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- A Grand Rapids woman faces 15 years in prison in the death of her boyfriend back in 2004. Kent County cold case investigators say 55-year-old Joyce Phillips entered a guilty plea to one count of manslaughter.

Phillips admitted to shooting her "then" boyfriend, Michael Richardson, outside their Grand Rapids home in February of 2004. At the time, Phillips said she knew nothing about it. Now because of advanced DNA testing, Phillips is linked to the shooting.

Investigators say she was a victim of domestic violence. Sergeant Sally Wolter of the Kent Metro Cold Case Team says of that fact, " And because of that, we charged her with manslaughter. But, clearly she made some more poor choices that evening when she escalated the situation and retrieved a firearm and shot Mr. Richardson."

Phillips is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22.

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