The Hawaii Supreme Court has reversed an appellate court decision to overturn the attempted murder conviction of a 43-year-old former Schofield Barracks soldier accused of beating his wife with a hammer.
On Friday, the Supreme Court issued a written decision reversing a Aug. 30, 2013 state appeals court ruling that overturned the conviction of former Sgt. 1st Class Lincoln Phillips who was charged with beating his wife Tara Phillips, 38, at their Ewa Beach home in September 2008. She suffered severe head and brain injuries and died about a year and half later at a Florida hospital.
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.
However, the state Supreme Court found that the hammer and clothing with traces of the victim’s blood on both items were recovered by police following proper procedures.
Lincoln Phillips was sentenced to life with possibility of parole for the attempted murder conviction.