LUDINGTON, MICH. - The "Baby Kate" trial entered its third week, Monday, Oct. 10. A key prosecution witness, who initially took the stand on Friday, continued to testify through most of Monday.
The judge granted Sean Phillips' defense attorney, David Glancy, permission to use prison disciplinary records during his cross examination of the important prosecution witness.
The witness, Rushaun Burton, told jurors Friday that he and Phillips were friends in 2012. Both men were serving prison sentences at the Carson City Correctional Facility.
Defense attorney Glancy went after Burton, questioning him at length about bad behavior "tickets" he received while in prison.
Burton acknowledged his misconduct, including one instance in which Burton provided an officer with a false name and cell assignment.
Prosecutors called Burton to testify about a conversation he had with Phillips in 2012. Burton told jurors that Phillips said he got rid of the baby, and that the baby would never be found. Burton said the admission followed a conversation about avoiding child support, and paternity disputes two male celebrities were in back in 2012.
When defense attorney Glancy asked Burton if he knew Sean didn't pay child support his answer was "no."
Burton previously told jurors he and Phillips were friends and they talked for a few hours every day. But Glancy questioned that description of the relationship. Pointing out that Burton didn't even know Phillips had an older child with Ariel Courtland.
Burton waited three months before informing the Attorney General's office, by letter, about what Phillips told him.
Glancy asked Burton if that had anything to do with an approaching parole hearing.
"No, they made that clear, this was not even mentioned at my parole hearing," said Burton. "They made that clear there would be no favors, I am here to do the right thing."
Burton's prison record had just two behavior tickets after he contacted detectives, and he was eventually paroled.
Glancy asked Burton a line of questions relating to materials he allegedly viewed at the prison law library. Those materials may have related to informants and favorable parole board outcomes.
Phillips is charged with open murder. He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for the unlawful imprisonment of Katherine Phillips. That conviction came in 2012.
The trial is expected to include around 60-witnesses.
Before it began, the judge told jurors it could last three full weeks.
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