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Prosecutors ask for review of overturned attempted murder conviction

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:29 p.m. HST, Sep 9, 2013

City prosecutors will ask the Hawaii Supreme Court to review a recent state appeals court ruling that overturned an attempted murder conviction and ordered a new trial for a man accused of beating his wife with a hammer.

Lincoln Phillips, 39, was a Schofield Barracks soldier when he was charged with beating his wife Tara who suffered severe head injuries in the September 2008 beating at their Ewa Beach home.

In a 2-1 ruling, the appeals court held that a hammer that was found in the garage and supposedly used in the beating should not have been admitted in the trial. The majority held that Circuit Judge Karen Ahn erred in not suppressing the hammer that was seized by police without a warrant.

"We're obviously pleased at this point with the (appeals court) decision," Phillips' lawyer Randall Hironaka said.

Dave Koga, city prosecutor's office spokesman, said they will seek a review by the high court.

Tara Phillips, 38, who suffered skull fractures and brain injuries, died about a year and half later at a Florida hospital.

The appeals court ruling issued Aug. 30 sets aside Lincoln Phillips' life term with possibility of parole for the attempted murder conviction.

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