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Father who 'slammed' and killed infant daughter gets life in prison, possibility of parole

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Posted at 11:09 AM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 11:10:53-04

CINCINNATI -- James Phillips was sentenced to life in prison Friday after he was found guilty of killing his 3-month-old daughter almost exactly one year ago.

Phillips, 36, has the possibility of parole after 30 years, but the Hamilton County judge who sentenced him said that's "unlikely." Phillips' family testified at his sentencing, asking for a light sentence.

Phillips faced the death penalty; he was charged with two counts of special felony murder, one count of felonious assault, one count of child endangerment and one count of aggravated murder. The latter charge is a capital offense.

"Slammed" is the verb used to describe Phillips' handling of his infant daughter, Jasmine. 

Phillips admitted to slamming Jasmine on her back, deputies said, resulting in severe skull fractures and an inability to breathe unassisted.

When authorities arrived at Phillips' home in Mount Healthy on Oct. 17, 2015, in response to a 911 call, they said Phillips was home alone with his three young children, and Jasmine was in "obvious distress." She was transported to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center where she died the next day.

The children's mother, Breanna Phillips, was not home at the time the baby was harmed, police said. She told police that she had just left to go to the store.

No records show that Hamilton County Job and Family Services had any previous contact with the family.