Salmon Arm man accused of murder released on bail

James Phillips - Photo contributed
James Phillips
— image credit: Photo contributed

The Salmon Arm man accused of second degree murder in the stabbing death of Louise Phillips will be free on bail while he awaits his trial.

James Douglas Phillips, 55, was released by a judge in Kamloops on Friday, April 1, after posting a $50,000 bond.

Due to a ban on the publication of information presented during the bail hearing, the Observer can only report the judge's ruling on his release.

When asked for their reaction, Linda Damant, Louise's sister, was resigned.

"It is immaterial and merely part of a legal procedure we must endure," she said.

"I would, however, like to take this opportunity to thank the RCMP investigating officers, Crown Counsel and victims services for their continued hard work and support. The diligence and effort they continue to show will result in justice for my sister, Louise.

The support of our old and new friends in Salmon Arm is very much appreciated.  Hearing how much Louise was loved and appreciated, and all the warm, loving gestures we received, and continue to receive, makes these long days easier to bear."

Court documents indicate James Phillips will be residing in Salmon Arm; however, his residence could change with the approval of a bail supervisor.

Phillips' release is subject to a number of conditions including no-contact orders with 24 people including members of Louise's family, his brothers, his son and other potential witnesses in the case, including several staff members at the Salmon Arm Observer.

Louise had been the office manager at the Observer from 2007 until her death February 18.

As well, Phillips was ordered to surrender his firearms, may not possess knives except for food preparation, must abstain from alcohol and non-prescription drugs and must abide by a 9 p.m. curfew. He is not permitted in any bar, pub, retail store or establishments licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Phillips must also visit a physician for assessment and treatment. If he does not take medical treatment as directed, his bail supervisor is to be notified.

Phillips' next court appearance is set for April 12.



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