LUDINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) - A jury on Friday reached a guilty verdict in the trial of Sean Phillips for the unlawful imprisonment of his 4-month-old daughter Katherine who has not been seen in 10 months.
"We are disappointed with the verdict," defense attorney Annette Smedley told 24 Hour News 8 outside the courtroom after the decision was read. "We will appeal."
Linda Carlson, Baby Kate's great-grandmother, told 24 Hour News 8 she is "overjoyed" with the verdict. She said she feels bad for the Phillips family because she knows they stood by Sean as much as her family stood by Baby Kate's mother, Ariel Courtland.
Watch videos above for the complete interviews with Smedley and Carlson
Phillips faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 5 at 3 p.m.
Authorities continue to investigate in the search for Baby Kate and say more charges could be possible in the case.
When Friday's court session began, one juror needed medical attention for high blood pressure. Judge Richard Cooper asked the woman if she needed to be excused. If it stayed up, she said she needed to be excused since it became a distraction. Two alternate jurors were available for the judge to replace her, but were not needed.
While the jury was in the court they also asked the judge to define the charges against the 22-year-old Phillips, specifically involving secret confinement, also known as unlawful imprisonment.
The case went to the jury around 6 p.m. Thursday after a flurry of activity on the last day of testimony.
The prosecution wrapped their case with an FBI agent who looked into a Birmingham couple who wanted to adopt a baby. But, he said, there was no evidence they had been in touch in any way with either Phillips or Courtland.
Three witnesses -- including Courtland -- took the stand for the defense. Courtland denied allegations she never wanted Baby Kate. Courtland's mother's boyfriend, Kenneth Wilson, testified Phillips offered him $5,000 to kill Courtland. And Courtland's former employer testified she told him she wished Baby Kate was dead.
Both prosecutor Paul Spaniola and Smedley told the jury in their closing arguments to disregard the sideshow in the trial and focus on the evidence.
But Smedley reminded them a conviction on these charges must be beyond a reasonable doubt, and, she said, "Doubt is all over this case."
24 Hour News 8's Leon Hendrix and Joe LaFurgey contributed to this report.
For up-to-the-minute information, follow Hendrix on Twitter -- @leonhendrix
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