Medford, Ore. – A Central Point man pleaded guilty to manslaughter after he shot and killed his wife during an apparent meth binge in 2014.
According to the Office of Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert, Wade Phillips had reportedly been using methamphetamine “for several days” leading up to the incident. Phillips had a history of using meth over a number of years. When he was influenced by the drug, he would “become very paranoid, sleep deprived and believe people and the government were watching him and trying to poison him,” prosecutors wrote.
On the morning of November 11, 2014 morning, Wade Phillips was at his home on Truax Road in Central Point with his three children, his daughter’s boyfriend and his wife, Cynthia Michelle Phillips. Wade said he was headed outside with his gun to “get the people,” according to the D.A.’s office. Eventually, he pointed his .44 caliber Ruger single action six-shot revolver at his 18-year-old daughter. Cynthia tried to intervene by pushing Wade’s gun away. The two got into an argument and Wade pointed the gun at Cynthia’s stomach. Forensic evidence shows Cynthia tried to reach for the gun when Wade fired a fatal shot.
All witnesses to the incident ran in multiple directions after the shot. One of the Phillips’ children, a 12-year-old, was in the kitchen when Wade fired the gun in that direction, with the bullet missing the child and striking the ceiling. The child then ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
The 18-year-old daughter ran out the back door to the garage with her boyfriend and a 5-year-old child. When they shut a door to the garage, Wade fired into the door. Nobody was struck by the shot and they ran to neighbor’s houses.
When police responded to the scene, they located the revolver with three fired casings, two unfired shots and one empty chamber, according to prosecutors.
Just before 3:00 p.m. police found Wade in the crawl space above the house, where he had apparently fallen asleep after gaining access through the garage. He was taken into custody without incident.
Cynthia was the only one hurt in the incident.
On October 2, Wade Phillips pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He was sentenced to 188 months in prison, or approximately 15-and-a-half years.