Man arraigned on capital murder charges in 2015 death

Published 9:57 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A 20-year-old Selma man was arraigned in Dallas County Circuit Court Tuesday for a capital murder charge in the shooting death of a 39-year-old Dallas County man during a 2015 home invasion.

Court records show Joshua Hardy was indicted by a Dallas County Grand Jury in July for capital murder. According to Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson, a trial date has been set for Oct. 22, 2018.

Elijah Harris, 19, was arrested in October 2015 at the age of 17 and charged with capital murder as well.

During a bond hearing after his arrest, testimony from an investigator revealed Harris was identified as a suspect by an inmate at the Dallas County Jail that overheard a phone conversation. The inmate gave a written statement that he heard Harris admit to allegedly breaking into Phillips home and shooting him.

Jackson said Harris is set to go to trial next Monday, Sept. 25 as long as the case is not continued.

Phillips was shot to death and found in the driveway of his Laredo Court home around 5:30 a.m. the morning of May 19, 2015.

Hardy and Harris are accused of killing Phillips, who was shot in the chest, during a burglary. The sliding glass door at the back of the home was found busted out.

At the time of the investigation, Captain Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, said they believed Phillips was asleep when the two men broke into the home.

“He was asleep in his bedroom upstairs. It appears that he was awakened by some type of noise. We don’t know if the glass woke him up or whatever,” Granthum said.

“He was walking downstairs, and due to evidence, that was collected at the scene and due to some blood evidence, it appears he was struck in the hallway.”

Hardy was arrested in February for a string of violent armed robberies along with two other suspects. Hardy was charged with nine counts of first-degree robbery, four counts of first-degree assault, one count of second-degree assault and one count of possession of an illegal firearm.

The robberies date back to September 2016 and January 2017, including one of Family Dollar on Broad Street and the other of a pastor and two deacons at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church on Buckeye Avenue.

The Family Dollar robbery was caught on surveillance footage and showed three men armed with guns robbing the store. The church robbery happened while the pastor and two deacons were leaving after a church meeting.