Suspect in rape, robbery arrested

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 6, 2003

MOBILE (AP) &045;&045; A 27-year-old Selma man wanted on rape, burglary and related charges in Mobile and the Florida Panhandle has surrendered to police in Mobile.

Police Sgt. John Goodwin said Eric Leon Phillips turned himself in at 3:15 a.m. Saturday.

He’s charged in the home-invasion rape of a 29-year-old Mobile woman and the sexual molestation of her 9-year-old daughter. He fled in the victim’s car. That incident occurred Dec. 28.

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Later that same day, police say Phillips traveled to Bonifay, Fla. where a holdup occurred at an Exxon service station. The 17-year-old female clerk was sexually molested and $200 taken from the cash register, according to police.

Goodwin said Mobile and Florida authorities, working together, identified Phillips as the suspect in the Exxon robbery. Charges against Phillips include attempted murder, rape, sodomy, burglary, sexual abuse and theft.

Phillips had been free on bond in May in Selma on rape, burglary and carrying a concealed weapon charges. Selma police say Phillips left jail on a $10,000 bond only to attempt burglary five days later. Again, he was released on bond &045;&045; this time $2,500.

Selma police spokesman Warren Hinson said Phillips was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl after breaking into her home May 18.