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Sean Phillips’ former cellmate cross examined in ‘Baby Kate’ trial

Rushaun Burton testifies in the Sean Phillips murder trial. (Oct. 10, 2016)
Rushaun Burton testifies in the Sean Phillips murder trial. (Oct. 10, 2016)

LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Sean Phillips’ former cellmate faced cross examination by the defense after testifying last week that Phillips had told him he got rid of his daughter Katherine Phillips.

Rushaun Burton said he met Sean Phillips after Phillips was convicted of the unlawful imprisonment of his four-month-old daughter, dubbed Baby Kate.

Sean Phillips and Katherine Phillips
Sean Phillips (left) appears in court Oct. 4, 2016 during his trial in the murder of his 4-month-old daughter, Katherine Phillips (right).

On Monday, the defense questioned Burton about his alleged conversation with Phillips regarding Baby Kate’s whereabouts.

Burton said that Phillips told him they would never find “the baby” not “the body” as Burton previously testified on Friday. Burton said Phillips was worried about having to pay money out for Baby Kate.

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Defense attorney David Glancy brought up the number of times Burton had been denied parole prior to testifying against Phillips. Glancy also brought up Burton’s prison violations and alleged lying to corrections officials.

“I’m here to do the right thing,” said Burton.

“I almost got killed because of this case,” he added.

Phillips is charged with open murder in the death of his daughter Baby Kate, who was last seen alive with him in June 2011. Phillips is already serving a prison sentence for unlawful imprisonment in her disappearance.

Since Kate’s remains have not been found, much of the case against Phillips, 26, is based on circumstantial evidence, including a letter he allegedly wrote in prison in which he confessed that he pulled Kate’s car seat from his car and that she was thrown from it. Prosecutors drew attention to that letter in court.

Since testimony began two weeks ago, jurors have heard from Kate’s mother, Ariel Courtland; Phillips’ mother, Kim Phillips; officers who spoke with Phillips on the day Kate disappeared; Phillips’ neighbors; and experts in DNA, cellphones and computers.

Lawyers say there could be closing statements as soon as Tuesday.

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