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Suspect in North Spokane mother's murder competent to stand trial

The competency report shows Joshua Phillips has the capacity to understand the nature of the legal proceedings.
Credit: KREM

SPOKANE, Wash. — A judge determined the man accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend and stabbing her daughter in North Spokane is competent to stand trial.

Joshua Phillips is charged with first degree aggravated murder and first degree attempted murder for the death of his ex-girlfriend, Kassie and her 5-year-old daughter, Lilly’s, stabbing. KREM 2 is intentionally not sharing the victims' last names to protect the child's privacy.

According to a competency report file May 28, Phillips has a history of suicide attempts and has been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Phillips is also an alcoholic and has gone to rehab, according to the report.

The competency report shows Phillips has the capacity to understand the nature of the legal proceedings.  

“Overall, Mr. Phillips displayed sufficient understanding of the professional roles, criminal charges, possible outcomes, plea bargain, appropriate courtroom behavior, and the adversarial nature of legal proceedings,” the report says. “He demonstrated an appreciations of his charges and potential penalties and knowledge of legal options.”

Kassie was found dead in her home on North Adams Street on Sunday, April 11 and her daughter, Lilly, was hospitalized after suffering injuries in the attack. The Spokane County Medical Examiner said Kassie died from multiple stab wounds and confirmed her manner of death as homicide.

According to new court documents, it was determined that Kassie had ended her relationship with Phillips two days before her death and her family changed the locks on the home in an effort to prevent him from getting into the home.

The detective who responded to the scene wrote in court documents that the garage Kassie and Lilly were found in was spattered with blood and blood was smeared on the cars inside. A container of jelly beans was also found on the floor next to the victims, documents said. The detective wrote that the scene demonstrated a “violent encounter, indicating that there was a struggle, with blood in numerous places around the garage.”

When the detective went to talk to Phillips in the hospital, court documents said Phillips didn’t respond to the detective but he was conscious. An ER nurse told an officer that Phillips said he had been in a garage trying to commit suicide for two hours and that he had a daughter with stab wounds, according to documents.

Medical staff told police that Lilly had been stabbed 7-10 times and required immediate surgery, according to documents. A medic told police Lilly was talking while being transported to the hospital and said, “the man stabbed me,” document say.

Court records indicate Phillips has a criminal history dating back to 2001, with charges including domestic violence, disorderly conduct and malicious mischief.


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