Joshua Phillips Murders Maddie Clifton

Joshua Phillips was a fourteen year old teen killer from Florida who would murder eight year old Maddie Clifton

According to court documents Joshua Phillips would tell the court that eight year old Maddie Clifton came over to his home and asked to play baseball. When the two were playing Phillips would hit a ball that would strike the girl in the eye and she started to cry. Phillips would bring the little girl back to his home and would tell the court that the eight year old clothes fell off when he was dragging her.

Joshua who was afraid of his father would beat the little girl with a baseball bat in order to make the girl stop crying. Joshua would then place the girl underneath his waterbed mattress. When he realized the child was still alive he would slit her throat and stabbed her multiple times in the chest

Joshua Phillips mother was cleaning his room when she noticed a stain coming out of the mattress days after the murder. When she looked she would discover the body of Maddie Clifton and notified the police

Joshua Phillips would be arrested, charged as an adult, convicted and sentenced to life in prison

Joshua Phillips Now

joshua phillips now
DC Number:J11775
Name:PHILLIPS, JOSHUA E
Race:WHITE
Sex:MALE
Birth Date:03/17/1984
Initial Receipt Date:08/26/1999
Current Facility:CROSS CITY C.I.
Current Custody:CLOSE
Current Release Date:SENTENCED TO LIFE

Joshua Phillips Case

The life sentence for Joshua Phillips, who was 14 when he killed 8-year-old neighbor Maddie Clifton, does not violate the U.S. or state constitution, according to a unanimous 1st District Court of Appeal ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that children are different than adults and should not qualify for mandatory life sentences. However, the courts have ruled that judges could individually sentence juveniles to life in prison after considering all the circumstances.

Phillips, whose 1999 murder conviction consumed the country’s attention, is now 33, and two years ago in August he cried as he testified in a re-sentencing hearing. He said he regretted what he’d done and that at 14 he didn’t understand what he was doing

The life sentence for Joshua Phillips, who was 14 when he killed 8-year-old neighbor Maddie Clifton, does not violate the U.S. or state constitution, according to a unanimous 1st District Court of Appeal ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that children are different than adults and should not qualify for mandatory life sentences. However, the courts have ruled that judges could individually sentence juveniles to life in prison after considering all the circumstances.

Phillips, whose 1999 murder conviction consumed the country’s attention, is now 33, and two years ago in August he cried as he testified in a re-sentencing hearing. He said he regretted what he’d done and that at 14 he didn’t understand what he was doing

“The way this murder and surrounding circumstances rocked the victim’s family and this community is unmatched in the modern history of Jacksonville,” Wallace said two years ago.

The appellate court upheld that decision because, it said, Phillips’ life sentence will be reviewed again and could be modified at a 25-year review “based on demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation.”

That sentence review should occur around 2024, based on his original 1999 sentencing.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/crime/2019/12/19/life-sentence-upheld-for-joshua-phillips-teen-killer-of-maddie-clifton/2047191007/

Joshua Phillips Case

Maddie Clifton, eight years of age, came home from school at 4:30 p.m. on November 3, 1998, practiced her piano, and then went outside to play.   She first went to the yard of a sixteen-year-old neighbor and then returned to her own yard.   The neighbor’s grandmother could see Maddie in her driveway and she also saw Joshua Phillips “creeping up” on Maddie.   She watched them for a few moments but went back into her home after deciding that what she saw was nothing more than two kids playing together.   By 6:20 p.m. Maddie’s mother called her children to dinner, and when Maddie did not appear, Mrs. Clifton asked some of the neighbors to look for her daughter, but no one could find her.   By 6:33 p.m. Mrs. Clifton called 911.

That evening several of the neighborhood children, including Joshua, took part in a search.   Witnesses to that event described Joshua Phillips as “acting normal” but looking as if he had just taken a shower.   The next day a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office detective spoke with Joshua about Maddie, who stated that he had seen Maddie the day before but had not played with her.   He was not supposed to play with her because of their age difference.   Police searched the Phillips’ storage shed and car after Joshua’s father arrived home, but they found nothing.   A couple of days later, another homicide detective went to the Phillips’ home when only Joshua was present and interviewed Joshua as he sat on the bed in his room.

Maddie’s body was not discovered until November 10, 1998, when Joshua’s mother, upset and crying, flagged down uniformed officers who were doing investigations in the neighborhood.   The officers and Mrs. Phillips went to Joshua’s room and opened the door.   There they saw two small feet with white socks sticking out from the bottom of Joshua’s waterbed, along with liquid coming from underneath the bed and tape on the floor.   A strong odor emanated from the room, which was immediately sealed as a crime scene.   One of the detectives then picked up Joshua Phillips at school and took him to the police station.

When Joshua’s room was searched the police found several types of air fresheners, rolls of tape, a baseball bat hidden behind a dresser, and a Leatherman knife tool.   Maddie’s body was under the waterbed with her shirt pulled up and her panties beneath her.

Joshua Phillips confessed to killing Maddie.   He claimed that the two were playing with a baseball in his back yard when he hit the ball very hard and accidentally struck her near the left eye.   She began to cry and holler, so Joshua, fearful that his father would be angry at him for playing with the younger girl, took her into his room.   She was bleeding from the gash and crying loudly, and to keep his father from discovering her he struck Maddie once or twice in the head.   She whimpered, and when she began to moan more loudly he took his knife and cut her throat.   Then he concealed her body by prying off the side of his waterbed and pushing Maddie underneath.   Joshua’s father had come home by this time, and, realizing that Maddie’s labored breathing was loud enough for his father to hear in another room, Joshua pulled the child out and stabbed her in her lungs so that she would stop breathing.   He explained that her shorts and underwear came off when he dragged her into his room and that her shoes came off when he shoved her under the bed the second time.   All of this happened because Joshua was afraid of getting in trouble.

The State’s medical expert testified that Maddie had suffered three separate attacks.   She was struck three times on her forehead and top of her head, receiving wounds that would have been fatal about thirty minutes after infliction.   Her neck wounds perforated her windpipe, causing her to bleed to death or drown in her own blood.   Nine stab wounds to her chest and abdomen were inflicted when she was already dead.   However, Maddie’s hand clutched a bracket from the waterbed frame, which indicated that she was still alive when Joshua shoved her underneath.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/court/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1276072.html

Joshua Phillips Video

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