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Retrial of armed robber ends in guilty replay

Michael Wade Phillips

Michael Wade Phillips

ALBANY, Ga. — It took a jury just a couple of hours to reach a guilty-on-all-counts verdict Friday for armed robber Michael Wade Phillips — again, according to a court official.

Dougherty County Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss again sentenced Phillips to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus five years.

Because of a misfiled piece of paper defense attorneys didn’t see, the Georgia Court of Appeals gave Phillips a second trial for the same charges in front of the same judge, but with a different jury.

“We had the same witnesses, the same evidence, the same arguments we had at the last trial,” Dougherty Assistant District Attorney Matt Breedon said. “Nothing changed, but we had to follow the appeals court (ruling).”

In May 2007 Phillips was found guilty of a series of robberies during 2005 in the Lake Park area. Because of three past felony convictions and what Goss called the “extremely violent” nature of the crimes, he was sentenced to two life sentences.