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#1 Oct 24, 2011
To those who wanna know-

Murder suspect Chad Phillips was found competent to stand trial during a hearing held Friday in Van Wert County Common Pleas Court.

A mental evaluation by Court Diagnostics of Toledo found that Phillips was not retarded nor mentally incompetent to stand trial, while adding that he was able to assist his legal counsel in preparing a defense in his upcoming trial.

Phillips, 31, of Middle Point, is charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, aggravated burglary and felonious assault in the shooting death of Christopher McMillen of Van Wert. The shooting took place in an apartment in the Fox Run apartment complex.

The first three charges related to McMillen’s death, while the fourth count stems from Phillips’ alleged attempt to cause serious physical harm to Ryan Schisler.

According to information related to the investigation, Phillips apparently burst into the apartment the evening of May 12 and began shooting McMillen. When he ran out of ammunition, McMillen was able to flee to the apartment’s bathroom and lock the door. However, Phillips reloaded his handgun and shot through the door of the bathroom, further wounding the victim.

McMillen was life-flighted to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind., from Van Wert County Hospital following the shooting, but died May 13 from wounds received.

Phillips fled the scene but was later found and arrested. He is currently in jail on a $1 million bond, with his murder trial scheduled for November 14.

Phillips faces life in prison on the aggravated murder charge, while the other three charges carry a maximum penalty of 28 years in prison and a fine of up to $80,000. Because there is also a firearms specification attached to each charge, an additional, mandatory three-year sentence will be tacked onto each charge for which he is convicted.

Assistant Prosecutor Eva Yarger represented the state at the hearing, while Phillips is represented by attorneys Leif B. Christman and Michael J. Camera.

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