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Jury finds man guilty of killing wife in Woodbury home

Twin Cities Pioneer Press logo Twin Cities Pioneer Press 7/1/2022 Mary Divine

The family of Sha-Von Phillips had a list of things to tell McKinley Phillips on Friday morning just minutes before he was sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing his wife.

“You are the worst of the worst,” Sha-Von Phillips’ sister, Corina Shanice McClure, told him. “You are a coward. You could have easy walked away, but you chose to murder her. My heart hurts because we miss her. Her kids miss and need her. All we have left of her are her memories and, now, her ashes. I hope you burn and rot in hell.”

Sha-Von Phillips (Courtesy photo) © Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press Sha-Von Phillips (Courtesy photo)

A Washington County jury found Phillips, 40, guilty of stabbing Sha-Von Phillips, 42, in the basement of their Woodbury home on June 25, 2021. She was stabbed 27 times. Six of her eight children, ranging in age from 5 to 15, were in the house at the time.

“Sha-Von will never see her children again,” McClure told Phillips via Zoom at his sentencing in Washington County District Court in Stillwater. “She will not meet her newest grandson, Genesis, or others to come. Her children can never say ‘I love you’ or enjoy her cooking and hugs ever again. My family will be forever broken and saddened by her death.”

Phillips, who was found guilty of first- and second-degree murder, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Washington County District Court Judge Juanita Freeman.

The “sentence … was necessary in this case,” said Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson. “I hope the conviction secured today brings some level of justice to the victim’s family as they navigate the horrific and senseless loss of a remarkable woman.”

Freeman denied a motion for a new trial and ordered that Phillips pay $7,500 in restitution to the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board, which covered Sha-Von Phillips’ funeral expenses.

Phillips had no reaction as the verdicts were read and declined to speak at the hearing.

McClure’s victim impact statement was one of several read in person or by proxy at the hearing. One of the statements was read on behalf of McKinley and Sha-Von Phillips’ son, who is now 7 years old and living in a foster home in the east metro.

Two of Sha-Von Phillips’ children also are living in foster care in Minnesota; three are living with their father in Arizona, and her two oldest children, ages 19 and 22, are living on their own in Detroit and St. Paul. “They have good days, and they have bad days,” McClure said. “On bad days, they want their mom.”

Augustus Delaney, Sha-Von Phillips’ and McClure’s father, sobbed when the verdicts were announced, she said. The two watched the sentencing by Zoom from McClure’s home in Hoschton, Ga.

“Sha-Von was his baby girl,” McClure said. “It was important for him to know that this monster was going to be locked up forever. It gives him closure knowing that he’s not going to be able to walk around and harm anyone else.”

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Sha-Von Phillips grew up in Detroit and lived in Michigan, Mississippi, Arizona and Illinois before moving to Minnesota with McKinley Phillips about five years ago, she said. They met in Chicago nine years ago.

“Her mother died when she was young, and she always seemed to be searching,” McClure said. “We called her our little gypsy because she moved around so much. When she called us, we never knew where she was going to be.”

McKinley Phillips did not allow Sha-Von to have much contact with her family after they got married, she said. “We never even met him, so when we were in court, it was a shock,” she said. “To watch and listen to him describe what he willingly did – without any emotion or remorse – was beyond one of the hardest things to endure in my life.”


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