Woman Accused Of Shooting Husband Plans Mental Defect Defense
Less than a week before her scheduled trial, the Springdale woman accused of shooting her husband in the face submitted court paperwork saying she plans on using mental defect as a defense in the case.
Robin Phillips submitted the motion in Washington County Circuit Court on Wednesday. The motion was placed into the court’s docket system as a “notice of intent to raise mental disease or defect as a defense.”
The suspect was released from jail in February for the first time since her arrest following a manhunt last November and December. Springdale police said she shot her husband in the face the day after Thanksgiving and was arrested on suspicion of first-degree domestic battery.
Phillips’ bond was set at $250,000, but was later reduced to $50,000, at which point she bonded out of the Washington County Detention Center, according to court documents. Her release came with stipulations requiring the shooting suspect to live with Dennis and Ginny McWilliams in Little Rock and to avoid contact with the alleged victim, her husband.
The suspect pleaded not guilty in January to the charges against her. Her trial was initially set for March 7, but was pushed back to June 3, court records show.
Police said Phillips shot her husband James in the face with a semi-automatic pistol following an argument Nov. 29. She then cut her own neck with a knife, according to the Springdale Police Department.
Both were transported to local hospitals with serious injuries and later released, police said.
The shooting suspect was arrested Dec. 13 following a several days search for the Springdale woman, a Walmart realty coordinator who went missing when a warrant came out for her arrest in connection with the shooting.
Phillips was arrested by Rogers police, as part of a cooperative effort with the Springdale Police Department, after which she was taken back to Springdale to be interviewed by detectives. She was later booked into the Washington County Detention Center.
An arrest warrant was issued the previous week for Phillips on suspicion of first-degree domestic battery, police said.
5NEWS spoke with one of Phillips’ neighbors shortly after her arrest.
“They are good neighbors. The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful,” said Brandon Mayorga.
Authorities released a 911 call from the incident, in which police said the couple’s son reports the shooting. Phillips’ son can be heard on the 911 tape released by Springdale police begging his mom to stop and explaining the shooting to the dispatcher.
“That`s very tough. I don`t know, if that was me, I don`t know how I would do it. I’d feel very depressed,” Mayorga said about Phillips’ son making the 911 call.
Phillips was listed on LinkedIn and her Facebook profile as Walmart’s realty management coordinator at the company’s home office in Bentonville. Springdale police Lt. Derek Hudson said a police report shows she worked at Walmart.
The incident resulted from an argument at 1407 Jennifer St., a Springdale police dispatcher said.
A 16-year-old in the house phoned police about 1:20 p.m. to report that two gunshots had been fired inside the residence, Hudson said. The teenager said the man and woman had argued and then went into a bedroom, where two shots from a handgun were fired, Hudson said.
James Phillips came out of the room with a gunshot wound to the jaw and collapsed on the floor, Hudson said. The woman, Robin Phillips, was found on the kitchen floor with a cut to her neck. A knife was on the floor next to her, the police spokesman said.
The teenager had knocked the handgun out of the woman’s hand before calling 911, police said.
Robin Phillips allegedly ran to the kitchen following the shooting while yelling that she was not going to jail, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. She told responding medical crews that she cut herself on the neck on purpose, the affidavit states.
James Phillips was hospitalized at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale; his wife was taken to Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, police said. James Phillips was listed in critical condition at the time, authorities said. Robin Phillips was treated at an intensive-care unit, authorities said.
The residence belongs to Norma Beasley, whose mailing address is in Dallas, Texas, according to the Washington County website. It was unclear Friday whether Beasley rents the house to Phillips and his family.
Animal control officers arrived during the investigation and removed dogs from the residence, authorities said.