Wyvette Wright said a heavy burden was lifted Friday morning when the convicted killer of Wright’s daughter and granddaughter was sentenced to two counts of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I waited for this day for two years,” she said. “He is the devil himself. There’s just no other way to put it.”
Richmond Phillips, 41, of Hillcrest Heights, was convicted in January of two counts of first degree murder for shooting and killing his mistress, Wynetta Wright, 20, of Suitland outside of a Hillcrest Heights community center, and leaving their baby, 11-month-old Jaylin Wright, in a hot car to “roast,” according to prosecutors.
Authorities said the incident took place May 31, 2011 outside a Hillcrest Heights community center where Phillips, a former Washington, D.C., police officer, shot Wynetta Wright and dragged her body into a wooded area. He is said to have then driven off with Jaylin Wright in the backseat of Wynetta Wright’s vehicle then parked and abandoned her to “cook” inside the vehicle, which was said to have been more than 125 degrees inside.
Their bodies were found days after the incident, police said.
“Now you can go kill yourself,” Wyvette Wright said as she was escorted out of the courtroom by a number of sheriff deputies. “Give him some rope.”
She later said outside the courtroom that while she’s grateful Phillips will spend the rest of his life in prison, he “doesn’t deserve to live” and should have received the death penalty.
During sentencing, defense attorney Brian Denton said that while Phillips said he spoke with Wynetta Wright the night of the incident, he contests that he was not the killer.
“Mr. Phillips is a father and a husband. I spoke with Mrs. Phillips last night and she said for her to believe he did this crime of murder was beyond her,” he said. “There are so many people who believe he didn’t do it.”
Phillips shook his head when asked if he wanted to address the court before the sentence was handed down.
In trial, prosecutors presented phone records, DNA evidence from Wynetta Wright’s vehicle, video footage from the community center and video recordings from an interview between Phillips and county police investigators that led to the jury’s guilty verdict.
Prosecutors have said he committed the acts as an attempt to not pay child support since he and Wynetta Wright had been set to appear for a child support hearing the day after the incident.
A Lanham man, who served as a foreman on the jury, sat in on the sentence hearing to see it through, he said.
“We had to look at autopsy reports and pictures and your life changes after that,” said Eric Mason, who said he has children and grandchildren.
State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks prosecuted the case and said the nature of the incident touched thousands of area residents including herself, who has a 7-year-old daughter.
Circuit Court Judge Sheila Tillerson Adams said the evidence in the case was “abundantly clear.” She said Phillips has 30 days to appeal the sentence.
“[Phillips] didn’t care. His disregard was just breathtaking,” said Alsobrooks. “I’m very proud to say he will never walk this in this community ever again.”