SEVIER COUNTY – The parents of a 2-year-old boy found dead inside a vehicle in Gatlinburg earlier this month have been arrested on first-degree murder, child neglect and child abuse charges.
The Sevier County Grand Jury heard evidence in the case and returned presentments against Anthony Dyllan Phillips, 26, and Jade Elizabeth Phillips, 24, on Monday, according to Sevier County District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn.
The charges include two counts of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated child abuse and one count of aggravated child neglect.
The couple was arrested Monday at a home in Westmoreland, Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, who is assisting Gatlinburg Police in the case.
TBI said Anthony and Jade Phillips were booked into the Sumner County Jail and are being held on a $250,000 bond.
Their first court appearance has not yet been set.
Gatlinburg Police said 2-year-old Kipp Phillips was found dead in a car in front of a house in the 400 block of Laurel Avenue just before 2 p.m. on Friday, July 14. Police said they believed he had been in the car since Thursday night.
Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins said the parents were Gatlinburg residents who were renting the house.
Criminal attorney Don Bosch said if someone is convicted, the punishments for aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse are stringent.
“Understand under Tennessee law, aggravated child abuse or neglect when the child is under the age of 8 carries 15-25 years at 100 percent in a state penitentiary. So it in itself is a serious crime,” he said.
Felony murder carries a life sentence with the possibility of parole.