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Brandon Phillips to plead guilty to prison drug charges

Brandon Phillips, 29, waits for court to start at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s Wednesday.
Brandon Phillips in shown in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s in this file photo. — Telegram file photo

Convicted killer Brandon Phillips is set to plead guilty to drug charges when he returns to court in June.

Phillips made a brief appearance in provincial court via video from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary Thursday morning. His lawyer asked the court to set the matter over for speedy disposition, which means Phillips will plead guilty.

Phillips, 30, is charged with three counts of drug possession, related to marijuana and heroin found to contain fentanyl, after he was allegedly found with the drugs in prison last year.

At the time, Phillips was awaiting trial, accused of murdering 63-year-old Larry Wellman during an armed robbery at the Captain's Quarters Hotel in St. John's in October 2015. He was convicted of second-degree murder last December, and is now serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for 12 years.

Phillips is appealing that conviction on a number of grounds, including that the verdict was “unreasonable and cannot be supported by evidence.”

During his sentencing hearing, the court heard Phillips had a longtime drug addiction for which he had been seeking counselling in jail.

Phillips will be back in court June 4.

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