New Freeport man avoids trial with plea

December 3, 2013
Brian Keith Phillips

WAYNESBURG – A New Freeport man scheduled for a jury trial Thursday pleaded guilty to a host of charges related to a burglary and driving under the influence Tuesday.

Brian Keith Phillips, 28, of 143 Main St., New Freeport, charged in two separate incidents April 30, 2012, and July 12, 2012, pleaded guilty before Judge Willian Nalitz to theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, aggravated assault by vehicle, criminal conspiracy, driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another person, driving after consuming alcohol or a controlled substance as a second offense in 10 years, and 12 summary traffic violations between the two cases.

Last April, Phillips was involved in a burglary of a Nemacolin residence. Police at the scene saw Phillips’ vehicle pulling out of a nearby driveway and led led officers on a chase that ended with a two-vehicle accident on Route 88 in front of Yoskovich Funeral in Carmichaels.

The crash involved Phillips’ car and one driven by Marlene Walker of Carmichaels. Phillips and his alleged accomplice, Nevin Lee Mitchell, 25, of 225 Herrods Run Road, New Freeport, were both flown to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va., for treatment.

Walker was not injured. At the accident scene, police located a large flat screen television and a blue suit case in the rear of Phillips’ vehicle that matched descriptions of two of the items stolen from the residence in Nemacolin. Other items reported stolen included several PS3 games, controllers, blue ray movies and laptop computers. The items stolen from the residence at 379A Grant St. totaled $7,058.

Then, in July of last year Phillips was found passed out behind the wheel of his car at Routes 19 and 21 in Waynesburg. After police awakened Phillips, he failed multiple sobriety tests and became a threat to himself and others, according to a criminal complaint. Police said Phillips went from crying one minute to yelling, fighting, threatening and out of control the next. He was transported to Southwest Regional Medical Center where he tested positive for cocaine, Alprazolam and Benzoylecgonine.

Phillips will be sentenced at a later date.

Mitchell is scheduled for plea court at 9 a.m. Dec. 11 before Greene County Judge Farley Toothman.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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