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Jury convicts Arciba in Doris Phillips murder case

Man found guilty but prosecutors did not seek death penalty
Despite Miguel Arciba’s contentions that he knew where Doris Phillips’ body was but had nothing to do with her killing, a jury convicted the 50-year-old man Monday in the slaying of the 81-year-old character actress and aunt of former Dateline NBC anchor Stone Phillips.
Arciba received an automatic life sentence for Phillips’ death. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
Phillips went missing July 25, 2006, and Arciba led officers to her body two months later in an abandoned farmhouse approximately 11 miles southeast of her home near Bardwell. Arciba was held in custody ever since on a bond of $1 million. Autopsy results indicated Phillips suffered a fractured pelvis and skull.
Arciba, the son of a former farm worker for the Phillips family, was initially held on a burglary charge related to the disappearance and, according to authorities, was an early suspect in Phillips’ disappearance.
Authorities were able to connect Arciba to the case after one of Phillips’ relatives saw a shotgun for sale in Canton that matched a weapon missing from Phillips’ home. The shotgun was traced through the vendor to a couple who said they bought it from Arciba.
Arciba was questioned by several law enforcement agencies including the Texas Rangers and Secret Service, which defense attorney Charles Slaton told jurors had threatened to shoot his client if he didn’t cooperate with the authorities to help find Phillips. Texas Ranger Mark Reinhardt said no such threats or coercion were ever issued.
Records show Arciba has a criminal history that includes five driving while intoxicated convictions and convictions for assault, child endangerment and criminal trespass. Capital murder can now be added to that list of wrongs.
Phillips was a successful character actress, having appeared in a number of films and TV shows as well as performed locally. She was a widely known and loved member of the community whose tragic loss is still mourned by her close-knit family and wide circle of friends.

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Posted by on Jan 31 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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