Otis Phillips – black, age 36
Sentenced to death in New Castle County, Delaware
By: judge after jury recommendation of 12 to 0
Date of crime: 7/8/12
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Phillips and his brother, Jeffrey Phillips, were each charged with first-degree murder for the deaths of Herman Curry and Alexander Kamara Jr. On July 8, 2012, Phillips shot Christopher Palmer so that Palmer could not be a witness in the murder case. Phillips had a traumatic childhood, which included being abandoned multiple times by his parents. He changed his life by getting a job, getting married, having a child, and buying a house. The defense tried to capitalize on the traumatic childhood for the jury’s sympathy. However, the prosecution pointed out that he walked away from his life in order to join a street gang. The defense also argued that there was no hard evidence to prove Phillips was in the park during the two shootings or connecting him to the shooting of Palmer.
Sources: The News Journal 11/19/14 (2014 WLNR 32564256), The News Journal 12/5/14 (2014 WLNR 34418906)