Florida judge sentences teen killer to life in prison

Posted at 3:28 PM, Nov 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-18 15:28:00-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida judge is keeping in place a life sentence for a man who beat and stabbed his 8-year-old neighbor when he was a teenager.

The Florida Times-Union reported Friday that Joshua Phillips showed no reaction when Circuit Court Judge Waddell Wallace announced his sentence.

Phillips, now 33, was first convicted in 1999 for killing Maddie Clifton. Phillips, then 14, lived across the street from Maddie when she disappeared in 1998. Her body was found stuffed under Phillips' waterbed a week later.

Later he explained to investigators that he killed the girl after she was hurt playing baseball with him.

Phillips became eligible for a new sentence due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that it's unconstitutional to impose mandatory life sentences without a chance for parole on juveniles convicted of homicide.