Criminal Justice

Girlfriend Charged in Lawyer's Murder Is Now Accused of Defrauding Him, Too

Charged in May in the murder of her longtime boyfriend, South Carolina attorney and former York mayor Melvin Roberts, defendant Julia Phillips is now also facing a criminal breach-of-trust case concerning her dealings with him.

Roberts, 79, was found strangled to death in February outside the York home he and Phillips shared. Authorities contend a possible motive in his slaying may be that he intended to have her arrested for stealing from him, reports the Herald.

She allegedly collected cash rent from tenants of Roberts on his behalf, then didn’t give him the money. However, her lawyer, Laura Hiller, says Roberts gave her money due to their relationship and allowed her to keep rent payments for medical expenses.

Phillips, who is in her mid-60s, was initially reported to have been bound and robbed in connection with the murder of Roberts. But police now say she fabricated that claim, the Herald explains in an earlier article.

Related coverage: “2nd S.C. Lawyer Is Killed in 2 Days; Was His Slaying Also Case-Related?”

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