West Virginia man sentenced to 40 years in officer’s death

July 20, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man was sentenced to the maximum 40 years in prison Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a police officer who had responded to a parking complaint.

Joshua Phillips learned his fate in Kanawha County Circuit Court in the December 2020 shooting of Charleston Police Officer Cassie Johnson.

A jury convicted Phillips last month of a second-degree murder charge. He received an additional six-month sentence for simple possession of a controlled substance. Those sentences will be served consecutively.

According to a police complaint, a resident had said that Phillips, of Charleston, parked his sport utility vehicle on her property.

Prosecutors said Johnson was worried about her safety because Phillips had pulled a gun, prevented Johnson from getting to her service revolver and struggled with her before shots were fired. According to testimony at the trial, Phillips fired six shots. Johnson, 28, was shot in the neck.