COWPENS MAN RECEIVES LIFE PRISON SENTENCE FOR FIRE DEATH
A Cowpens man received a life prison sentence today after he was found guilty of killing a Cherokee County man.
Jeremy R. Phillips, 29, was found guilty of murder and first-degree arson at the conclusion of a three-day jury trial. Phillips killed 33-year-old Juan Roman on Aug. 30, 2006 at the victim’s Oak Stone Road mobile home.
Firefighters found Roman’s charred body inside the home when they responded to a late night fire. Roman died as a result of injuries sustained in the blaze. Investigators believe the fire was set to cover up Phillips’ assault of Roman. The autopsy revealed a severe head injury. He also had several teeth knocked out.
“We believe the victim was knocked unconscious prior to the fire being set,” Assistant Solicitor Mike Morin said. “It was a cold and calculated crime.”
Phillips will serve every day of Circuit Judge Derham Cole’s prison sentence. He is not eligible for parole.
Phillips was one of three people charged in the homicide. Charges are still pending on co-defendants Jesse Curtis Willis and Nakia M. Gossett.