Slaying Suspect's Husband Exhumed -

Slaying Suspect's Husband Exhumed

By Staff

Coroner Dennis Fowler exhumed the body of Bryant Phillips, the former husband of Julia Phillips, Monday morning.

Julia Phillips is accused of killing her boyfriend, Former York mayor Melvin Roberts, 78, in February.

Bryant Phillips died in 1999 of cardiac related issues at Emory Hospital in Atlanta.

His family came to Fowler in May with information that made him suspicious of the death.
Fowler performed an autopsy Monday morning and has sent toxicology samples to SLED.

It could be several weeks before the results return.

The coroner returned the body to the cemetery Monday.

Warrants state Roberts died of head injuries and strangulation. There was also evidence of gunfire in the house.

Police say Julia Phillips made up a story about a home invasion gone bad. They said she even tied herself up with duct tape to make herself look like a victim.

In the end police didn't buy it.

Business owners around Gaffney who knew Phillips were stunned to hear the news.

"I am just shocked that is so unbelievable," said one woman.

Lewis Smith, another business owner says, shortly after the murder, Phillips told him there was a killer out there.

"She said she hoped that they catch the murderer cause she's really loved her boyfriend"

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