UPDATE: ( P.M. July 20, 2022) – Joshua Phillips has been sentenced to the maximum term of 40 years on 2nd-degree murder charges in the death of Charleston Police Patrolman Cassie Johnson. He will also serve 6 months for simple possession of a controlled substance. Judge Jennifer Bailey says the sentences are to be served consecutively. He will be given credit for time served prior to today, Judge Bailey said.
Phillips was also ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution to West Virginia Department of Homeland Security.
During the sentencing hearing Phillips gave a statement, apologizing for causing Johnson’s family and friends grief and his actions on Dec. 1, 2020.
“I want to apologize for the grief I have caused her friends and especially her family. I apologize for my actions causing the death of Cassie Johnson. If I could change what happened or trade places with her, I would,” Phillips said.
Johnson’s mother, sister and best friend were also in the courtroom and gave statements on the impact her death has had on their lives.
“To know her was to love her, but for her to love you was nothing short of extraordinary,” said Erin Simon, Johnson’s best friend. “I long for those moments that will never be … Cassie was brave, courageous and fearless in the pursuit of justice and will always be remembered for her heroic actions and the hero that she is.”
In the courtroom, Chelsea Johnson, Cassie’s older sister spoke of the last time she saw her sister before she was shot – when the two cleared snow from Christmas decorations at their mother’s home laughing and talking the morning before the shooting. Chelsea says she told Cassie to be careful, and Cassie responded “Always.”
“Cassie loved her life, a life that at only 28-years old, Joshua Phillips took upon himself to steal,” said Chelsea Johnson. “I can honestly say that Joshua Phillips has ruined my life.”
Sheryl Johnson, Cassie Johnson’s mother had a message for Phillips following her daughter’s death, and said she was disappointed in the jury decision to convict him of 2nd-degree murder instead of 1st-degree.
“I’ve always been proud of my girl. She was my miracle,” Sheryl Johnson said. To Phillips, she said, “Cassie will live on forever in the hearts and minds of the people who knew her and loved her and all the people who were touched by her service to her service to the city of Charleston. You will be forgotten when the cell door slams shut. I could sit here and tell you I hate and I wish you were dead, but you’re not worth my time.”
I will say one thing in closing. And I know you won’t understand this, maybe you can find a Bible and read up on it, but I forgive you for killing my beautiful child.Sheryl Johnson, Cassie Johnson’s mother
Following the sentencing, Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt released a joint statement on the sentencing:
“Today’s sentencing can hopefully give some closure to the family of Cassie Johnson, her friends, our brothers and sisters in the Charleston Police Department and the entire Charleston community. This has been a long and painful process, but all along we have maintained faith and trust in the justice system and today is no exception. Our job now is to continue to honor the legacy of our fallen sister and work to live up to the high standards Cassie set as a Charleston police officer. We will never forget the passion and honor Cassie brought to her job protecting Charleston and we promise to strive every day to live up to those expectations.”Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin and Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt
CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The man convicted of murder in the death of a Charleston police officer will be sentenced today July 20, 2022 in Kanawha County Circuit Court.
On June 13, 2022, Joshua Phillips, 40, was convicted of second-degree murder for fatally shooting Charleston Police Patrolman Cassie Johnson on Dec. 1, 2020 while she was responding to a parking complaint involving Phillips’ vehicle. Johnson died of her injuries on Dec. 3, 2020.
The sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon and will be live-streamed in this article.
Phillips was also found guilty of simple possession of a controlled substance for a bag of blue pills authorities identified as Klonopin pills found in the pair of jeans that had been turned in with Phillips’ clothing after the shooting.
Phillips faces 10-40 years in prison and could be eligible for parole in 10 years.