Gaffney Woman Charged With Murder In York Attorney's Death -

Gaffney Woman Charged With Murder In York Attorney's Death

By Jonathan Carlson

The city of Gaffney reacting with shock--after a popular local business owner is charged with murdering her boyfriend.

We've also learned, investigators say they knew the girlfriend was the likely suspect all along.

Julia Phillips was arrested Tuesday morning, near the Cherokee Chronicle building in downtown Gaffney. That's just a few doors down from her shop, Julia's Cosmetics on Limestone Street.

She's charged with the murder of her boyfriend, 78 year old York man Melvin Roberts. Roberts was killed on Feb. 4, inside his home. 

Roberts was a prominent attorney and former Mayor in York.

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

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

In the end police didn't buy it. They said they had suspicions from the start, but not the evidence, until now.

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"

Phillips was taken back to York County and is expected to face a judge Wednesday morning.

The motive for the murder isn't yet known. Police also say Phillips was the one who called 911 after the murder.

WBTV and the AP contributed some of the details to this story.

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