Pima County Attorney Convictions

Case Profile

Convictions
State v. Pamela Anne Phillips
Pamela Phillips was found guilty of killing her ex-husband with a pipe bomb that exploded in his car in 1996. Phillips was resentful of losing her extravagant lifestyle after financial hardships encountered by her ex-husband. She filed for divorce as a result of losing this extravagant lifestyle. Prior to and up until the bombing, there was a heated child custody and child support battle occurring between the two.

After the divorce, she had maintained ownership of a $2 million dollar life insurance policy that had been established for their children but had Phillips as the beneficiary. After the bombing, Phillips was paid the $2 million dollar life insurance proceeds and she continued to live in Aspen, CO. In 2005, law enforcement discovered substantial and significant evidence that Phillips and her co-defendant devised the murder plan together.

The evidence established that Phillips agreed to pay her accomplice and one-time boyfriend $400,000 for the hit on her ex-husband and father of her children. In addition, there were numerous recorded conversations and emails that had been kept by her co-conspirator that implicated them both in the murder. When Phillips became reluctant to pay him the money she owed him for the bombing, he threatened to expose her involvement. Her co-conspirator was charged and convicted of the murder in 2010 and is currently serving two life sentences.

Pam Phillips moved to Switzerland before a warrant was served on her for her arrest. In 2009, she was arrested and later extradited from Austria after Arizona agreed not to seek the death penalty. Phillips had remained free for 13 years after planning the murder and having her ex-husband killed in the bombing. After a lengthy jury trial, Phillips was found guilty of 1st degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Convicted of:
- 1st degree murder
- Conspiracy to commit murder
Sentenced:
5/22/2014 to Natural life on the murder count and life with the possibility of parole after 25 years on the conspiracy count.
Pima County has the lowest felony plea bargain rate in Arizona
Prosecution Statistic Fiscal Year 2011/2012 Fiscal Year 2012/2013
Adult Felony Trials 453 373
Felony Trial Rate 9.2% 6.8%
Felony Dispositions 4,944 5,469
Prison (DOC) 1,809 2,021
Percent to Prison 36.6% 37.0%
32 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85701