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October 19, 2018

For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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Alabama Attorney General

Alabama Supreme Court Upholds Capital Murder Conviction
Prosecuted by Then-District Attorney Steve Marshall and Later
Defended by Attorney General Marshall on Appeal

(MONTGOMERY) -Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Supreme Court
has upheld the capital murder conviction of Jessie Livell Phillips, 38, of Albertville, a case first
prosecuted by Marshall while he served as Marshall County District Attorney.
This case was the first prosecution in Alabama under the Brody Act, which provides that a
defendant may be prosecuted for murder of an unborn baby who is killed. Then District Attorney
Marshall was instrumental in the passage of the Brody Act.
In 2012, District Attorney Marshall prosecuted and convicted Jessie Livell Phillips for capital murder
in the November 2009 shooting death of his pregnant wife, Erica Droze Phillips, age 23, and her
unborn child. Phillips was sentenced to death for their murders.
On February 27, 2009, Phillips, his wife, Erica, their two children, and her brother, Billy, were eating
at McDonald’s in Hampton Cove. Afterward they went to Guntersville to a car wash where Erica
and Billy’s brother, Lance, worked. At the car wash, Billy separated from Phillips and Erica to visit
his brother. He later passed by Erica’s vehicle which was in one of the wash bays and noticed Erica
was in the driver’s seat and Phillips was seated behind her “fiddling with” a gun. Soon after, Billy
heard Erica yell, “Help me, Bill.” He testified that he “got there just in time to see [Phillips] kill her”
after they were engaged in a struggle. Billy left with the Phillips’ children while Lance approached
the scene of the shooting to find Erica lying on the ground after Phillips fled in her vehicle. Police
were called and Erica was transported to a local hospital and then to Huntsville Hospital where she
died the following morning. Phillips was later apprehended by Albertville police and admitted, “I
did it. I don’t want no trouble.”
Attorney General Marshall commented both on the significance of the case and his role in the
original conviction and the final appeal. “This was a tragic case in which a young mother and her
unborn child were brutally murdered with her minor age children nearby. There is no more
appropriate case to warrant a death sentence and I am glad to have been given the opportunity as
Attorney General to see this case to its rightful conclusion for the victims’ family.”
The Attorney General’s Office successfully upheld the murder conviction on appeal to the Court of
Criminal Appeals in 2015. In November 2017, the Attorney General’s Office argued in defense of the
murder conviction before the Alabama Supreme Court.
Attorney General Marshall thanked his prosecution team from the Marshall County District
Attorney’s Office for its work in the original successful conviction, as well as those in the Attorney
General’s Office who handled the case on appeal.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300