CRIME

Richmond Phillips trial begins in murder of Wynetta Wright, infant daughter

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The trial of a former D.C. police officer who is accused of killing his girlfriend and leaving his young daughter to die in 2011 is set to begin Monday.

Phillips is accused of shooting his ex-girlfriend to death and leaving their daughter to die.

Richmond Phillips, a former MPD officer, faces life in prison without parole in the Summer 2011 in connection to the shooting death of Wynetta Wright in Prince George's County and the subsequent death of their daughter, 1-year-old Jaylin, who was abandoned to die in a car a short distance away.

About 20 friends and relatives of the victims crowded into the courtroom Monday morning as attorneys on both sides delivered opening statements.

Prosecutors called Phillips a “deceptive, double-sided man.”

Authorities allege that Phillips, 39, lured Wright into a wooded area near Hillcrest Heights in late May of 2011 and shot her to death. He then allegedly left Jaylin in a hot car to die on a day when temperatures reached the 100-degree mark.

Prosecutors say evidence shows temperatures in the car where Jaylin was found reached as high as 125 degrees.

Phillips and Wright were scheduled to appear in court for a child support hearing just before both Wright and their daughter went missing, police say. Wright's body was later found in Oxon Run Stream Valley Park, while Jaylin was found inside a car in the 2400 block of Southern Avenue.

The accused had been a member of the MPD's narcotics unit for several years. He faces murder charges in the killing of Wright and manslaughter charges in the killing of the infant.

Defense attorney Brian Denton, however, said Monday that Phillips “didn’t do this thing. ” He called the murders heinous but said “it's not him.”

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