Man charged with murder for wife's death - Hi-Desert Star: News

Man charged with murder for wife's death

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 11:35 pm

JOSHUA TREE — A man was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 30, on suspicion of the murder of his wife, Christy Phipps, 35, at their home in the 61600 block of Alta Vista Drive.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the couple’s home at midnight Wednesday on a report of a shooting that had just occurred, according to a sheriff’s department news release.

They found Phipps inside the home suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Medical aid pronounced her dead at the scene.

Homicide investigators were called in and served a search warrant at the home. After interviewing Christy Phipps’ husband, 39-year-old Joseph Phipps, they took him into custody. He was booked on a murder charge at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Lt. Brad Toms of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

Phipps made his first court appearance Friday afternoon, Feb. 1, in the Joshua Tree courthouse, where a judge entered a plea of not guilty for him. The accused man sat with his hands covering his face, occasionally wiping away tears while Judge Rod Cortez dealt with five other accused men before him. Bail was set at $1 million.

Phipps is scheduled to return to court Wednesday for a conference.

A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Detective Steve Pennington at (909) 387-3589.

Joseph Phipps had been a tow truck driver at Hill’s Towing for four years, while Christy Phipps’ Facebook page listed her employment as In-Home Health Services.

Robin Willis, a neighbor, knew both the victim and the suspect because their daughters are best friends. “I pulled my daughter out of there because the whole household situation was getting really bad,” Willis said by phone Thursday afternoon.

Willis described an abusive relationship and added, “She’d been trying to leave for over a year and he wasn’t going to let her. He’s a very strange man. I had a very bad feeling about him. She was scared of him.”

Court records show the Phipps were divorcing.

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  • Dave Peach posted at 3:26 am on Thu, Feb 7, 2013.

    Dave Peach Posts: 2998

    Defenders of unrestricted guns typically attempt to shame issue-adversaries for stating or substantiating the obvious during the most appropriate time to do so. Nice try.

    As a part of nuclear arms treaties, enormous concrete blocks, that take awhile to move, were placed over silos to preclude anyone from going off half-caulked. The ability to kill merely by pulling a trigger is much the same as pushing a button. Any idiot can do it. Attempting to outrun a bullet generally remains less likely than avoiding other forms of assault.

    Placing trip wires attached to targeted explosives is another means of protecting oneself. But the potential for collateral damage would compare with that caused by personal firearms, particularly in the hands of people with indoctrinated delusions regarding unlikely and impossible perils. Restrictions on mentally unstable people would perhaps and should definitely include them.

    Join the crowd. However, unless adjudicated as dangerous to the public or oneself, people such as myself remain qualified to purchase or otherwise obtain exorbitant firepower, and despite the personally obvious dangers (note the time of day and general temperament). Those less capable of self-awareness and self-control obviously merit yet less trust.

    Proof of the aforementioned is clearly obvious in the article above, plus throughout our sick, cowardly and delusional society.

  • Bob Mateski posted at 12:23 pm on Wed, Feb 6, 2013.

    Bob Mateski Posts: 314

    While this crime was comitted with a gun it could also have been comitted with a kitchen butcher knife, baseball bat or any other item that can kill.
    All of those items are inanimate objects, the actual tool of destruction is human beings and their mental state at any given time.
    I will not comment on this situation's personal aspects because it is a tragic event that has destroyed the entire family and I know nothing about it, I am just responding to the anti gun comment below that is both rediculous, misguided and wholly inappropriate at this time.
    My thoughts and prayers go to the children, they will live with and struggle with this memory for the rest of their lives.
    God Bless the children.

  • Stacy Moore posted at 10:32 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Stacy Moore Posts: 148 Staff

    I've taken out a couple comments; as I mentioned before in an earlier article on this incident, I don't think speculation or rumors about the shooting are appropriate here, since they could be wrong and leaving them on a newspaper website could lead people to believe they are true.

  • Dave Peach posted at 9:07 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Dave Peach Posts: 2998

    "Gun violence touches every segment of our society. It increases the probability of deaths in incidents of domestic violence, raises the likelihood of fatalities by those who intend to injure others and among those who attempt suicide, places children and young people at special risk, and disproportionately affects communities of color.

    "Since Sept. 11, 2001, "270,000 Americans were killed by gunfire at *home." (Mostly True) In 2011, Doonesbury cartoon strip character Mark Slackmeyer said, "Nine years, ago we were attacked — 3,000 people died. In response, we started two long, **[b-l-o-o-d-y] wars and built a vast homeland-security apparatus — all at a cost of trillions! Now consider this. During those same nine years, 270,000 Americans were killed by gunfire at home (*domestically). Our response? We weakened our gun laws."

    "As firearms are the most common weapon used in intimate partner homicides (IPH), it is the initiative of the Center to identify whether existing purchase and possession prohibitions effectively keep firearms out of the hands of batterers.

    Research by Center faculty has identified important gaps in laws designed to keep firearms from IPV perpetrators and the enforcement of those laws. Nationwide inadequacies in state police gun removal laws have prompted in-depth analysis of their effectiveness in separating IPV perpetrators from firearms. A focus on Maryland gun violence policy has led to Center recommendations for improved implementation of these laws to decrease the prevalence of in-state, gun-related IPH. Additional Center findings on handgun purchase rates among restrained persons illustrate a pressing need to improve the effectiveness of the background checking system in eliminating the unlawful sale of firearms to domestic abusers."

    *Asterisks and parenthesis added.
    **brackets and separated letters added to satisfy Oxford England's censored and confusing colloquialisms, which perhaps warrant local examination and local adjustments. L-o-u-s-y b-u-m-s.

  • no one knows posted at 7:51 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    no one knows Posts: 1


    Sorry for you loss, but I'm also sorry that you are not a very good judge of character. If you consider this man "one of the kindest people" you and your family have known, that just might be a problem. He has been a known wife beater who wouldn't respect her wishes to leave, instead had to murder her and now their kids no longer have a mother or a father, that is selfishly psychotic. I really feel bad for Christy and her children who have suffered the worst. Now he can rot in jail.


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