YORK — Convicted killer Julia Phillips has already left the York County jail and is in the custody of state corrections officials, following her conviction late Thursday for the murder of her longtime boyfriend, Melvin Roberts.
Phillips, 69, was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted her of being an accomplice to Roberts' strangling death in February 2010. Roberts, 79 was the former York mayor and York County's longest-serving lawyer, with 55 years in practice.
Phillips was not convicted in the eight-day trial of the actual strangling, but of planning the murder for hire in a grab for money.
She will be at the Columbia reception prison for prisoners for two weeks to a month, said Clark Newsom, a state Department of Corrections spokesman.
Her physical and mental condition will be evaluated, along with other routine actions that all prisoners go through, regardless of age or gender.
Trial testimony showed Phillips abused prescription narcotic painkillers. And although a state psychiatrist found her competent to stand trial last week, her lawyer had claimed as the trial began that Phillips was mentally incompetent and not fit to stand trial or assist in her own defense.
Violent female offenders convicted of murder eventually ended up incarcerated at one of two maximum-security prisons for women - Graham Correctional Institution in Columbia or Leith Correctional Institution in Greenwood, Newsom said.