Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why does killer dad get this much free legal support? (Luddington, Michigan)

We've posted on this case numerous times over the past few years.

But this is quite interesting.

How does a wastrel father like SEAN MICHAEL PHILLIPS get this kind of high-caliber legal support? Who's paying for it? Fathers rights groups? What?

There is seriously no real-world doubt that this POS killed this baby. Why all the effort on his behalf?

Meanwhile, protective mothers in legal battles get jack sh** in terms of legal assistance, and they sure don't get help from heavy hitters like this guy.

Baby Kate father's murder defense gets help of ex-U.S. Attorney John Smietanka

By John S. Hausman on March 06, 2014 at 12:51 PM, updated March 06, 2014 at 1:31 PM

LUDINGTON, MI – With Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office helping prosecute Sean Michael Phillips for the alleged murder of his daughter, baby Kate Phillips, the defense is getting high-profile help of its own.

John Smietanka, former U.S. attorney for western Michigan and twice the Republican nominee for state attorney general, will act as an adviser to David Glancy, Sean Phillips’ court-appointed public defender.

Also assisting will be Gene Debbaudt, former head of the FBI’s Grand Rapids office, Smietanka said. Debbaubt works as a private investigator.

“Gene and I are working as advisers to the attorney David Glancy, and we are retained by the court to assist in the defense,” Smietanka said.

“We’re doing it because we were approached, and it appeared that there was a need to make sure that Mr. Phillips had a fair defense and a fair representation, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Smietanka will be paid on an hourly basis by the court, and only as an adviser to Glancy, not as co-counsel on the case.

Smietanka, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was the Grand Rapids-based U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan from 1981 to 1994. He was the GOP nominee for attorney general in 1994 and 1998, losing to Democrats Frank Kelley and Jennifer Granholm, respectively. President George H.W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992, but the Democratic-controlled Senate did not confirm the nomination.

Smietanka is now in private practice in Grand Rapids, a partner in the firm Smietanka, Buckleitner, Steffes and Gezon.

Phillips, 24, formerly of the Scottville area, was charged Oct. 4, 2013, with open murder. Schuette and Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola are jointly prosecuting Phillips, alleging he killed his 4½-month-old daughter on June 29, 2011, the last day anyone else saw her.

Baby Kate’s body has never been found.

Phillips is scheduled for a two-day preliminary examination April 3 and 4 in Mason County 79th District Court. Judge Peter Wadel will hear evidence and decide if the case is strong enough to send to trial in 51st Circuit Court.

Phillips is already serving a state prison sentence of 10 to 15 years for unlawful imprisonment of his daughter. A Mason County jury convicted him of that in April 2012.