Protesters rally for stiff sentence in Eryka Phillips case

Nearly 10 months after Harry Kimmons was charged with the murder of his fiancé‘s 8-year-old daughter, the slain girl’s uncle and a handful of other protesters rallied against the possibility of a lenient sentence. Carrying signs and pictures of Eryka Phillips, who was killed last May in what police say was an intentional vehicular crash on Smokey Park Highway, the group occupied the College Street traffic circle during Wednesday morning’s rush hour.

Ken Phillips, Eryka’s uncle, said that the sentence is ultimately up to the judge who hears the case, but that he fears a plea bargain offered by District Attorney Ron Moore could “let a murderer loose.” Local conservative activist and former Asheville city councilman Dr. Carl Mumpower, who helped organize the rally, said that public pressure in such cases can result in a stiffer sentence for the accused.

Read Xpress coverage of the incident here: Mother and child run down by fiancee, APD says intentionally. Eight year-old girl dead.

The following is taken from a press release sent from Mumpower’s E-mail address:

Protest Planned for Wed. Morning!

Mr Ken Phillips, uncle of 9 year old Eryka Phillips, and a group of concerned citizens are planning a protest for Wednesday, 13 March 2013, from 7:45 until 9:00 AM at the traffic circle on College Street, Asheville, NC (intersection with Woodfin).  Eryka was run over by her mom’s fiancée, Harry Kimmons, last May after an argument in which he left the scene and returned as they walked away.  Mr Phillips and the group are protesting what is anticipated to be a lenient plea bargain by DA Ron Moore scheduled later this week for Mr Kimmons. 

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