Former inmate pleads guilty in 2017 death of another inmate during fight in Mississippi prison

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

A former federal inmate pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Michael Phillips, 47, a citizen of Jamaica, pled guilty on April 4, 2023, in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on or about July 2, 2017, Phillips killed another inmate during a fight in a prison housing unit at the Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Mississippi, where both Phillips and the other inmate were incarcerated.  During the course of the fight, Phillips threw a punch causing the other inmate to fall backwards into a metal locker.  The other inmate hit the back of his head on the locker, and he died as a result of his injuries.

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Phillips will be sentenced on July 7, 2023 and faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Robles and Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Purdie prosecuted the case.