Judge sentences man for Greene County murder in 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A judge sentenced Adam Phillips Friday for killing Shone Swearingin in June of 2018.

Judge Thomas Mountjoy sentenced Phillips to 25 years for second-degree murder, 25 years for armed criminal action and seven years for unlawful possession of a firearm. Mountjoy stated the sentences would run concurrently.

The sentencing was decided through a plea agreement with Greene County Prosecutors. Prosecutors originally charged Phillips with four felonies: first degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful possession of a firearm, and abandonment of a corpse. In March, Phillips pleaded guilty to the three felonies he was sentenced for Friday.

Phillips confessed to killing Swearingin just days after a passerby found his body lying in the eastbound lane of Highway WW north of Springfield. Swearingin's roommate told investigators he had left with Adam Phillips and a woman at about 12:30 a.m. When detectives talked with Phillips, he said they took Shone to their house, made him dinner and made him feel loved, like he was part of the family.

Phillips said he and Shone then went for a drive and began arguing. He says he told Shone he loved him and Shone told him the same, then he fired the gun. He says Shone fell out of the vehicle because the door was already open. He also said he and Shone had talked about him killing Shone because he was in pain. Detectives found DNA evidence in the vehicle and the gun at Phillips' home.

Phillips was previously convicted of unlawful use of a weapon and had completed probation about a month before confessing to killing Swearingin.

Some of Swearingin's family was at the sentencing hearing Friday. None had comments on the decision, but said they wanted "closure."