Published On: Tue, Aug 17th, 2010
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Choctaw Man charged with 2nd Degree Murder in Weekend Slaying

Bridgeo Marino Phillips Sr., 28 of Philadelphia, Miss., an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, has been indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Charlotte on one count charging second degree murder in connection with an incident which allegedly took place on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Jackson County on Saturday, Aug. 14.  The announcement came Tuesday, Aug. 17 from U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins of the Western District of North Carolina, Owen D. Harris, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Charlotte Division and Ben Reed, Chief of the Cherokee Indian Police Department.

According to information contained in official court documents, Phillips Sr. is charged in a federal bill of indictment with one count of second degree murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of imprisonment for life. He will remain in local federal custody pending trial in the Western District of North Carolina.

The case is being handled for the government by Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Gast of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.

The public is reminded that federal bills of indictment contain mere allegations and that a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

In two other, separate and unrelated cases, the U.S. Attorney announced that two defendants, Billy Jack Hicks, 38, an EBCI tribal member, of Whittier, and Kenneth Nolan Millsaps, 31, of Andrews, have each been charged in federal bills of indictment alleging federal firearms violations.

Hicks is charged with one count alleging the defendant to be an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance and being in possession of a Smith 7 Wesson .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol, in violation of federal law.

Millsaps is charged with two counts: one count alleging the defendant to be an unlawful user of an addicted to a controlled substance and being in possession of a Mossberg 20 gauge shotgun and a Rohm .32 caliber revolver and the second county alleging the defendant to be a felon in possession of firearms.

If convicted, Hicks faces a ten year maximum penalty and if convicted Millsaps faces a ten year maximum penalty as to each county he is facing. Both defendants are currently pending trial in U.S. District Court. Hicks has been released on bond, Millsaps will be afforded a detention hearing on Friday, Aug. 20. The Hicks case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Millsaps case was investigated by ATF.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office

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