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Mass. Man Convicted of Murdering Man Found Dumped in Suffield

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DEDHAM, Mass. (WGGB) – Nearly three years after a body was found dumped in Suffield, Conn., a Braintree man has been convicted of murder.

David Traub, spokesperson for Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, says that a jury Wednesday found 32-year-old Lucas Walters guilty of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say that Walters told investigators that he had asked the victim, Jeffrey Phillips, who lived in a neighboring apartment, on July 24, 2009 to borrow some money.

Traub says that Phillips apparently refused, in part because Walters was allegedly already in debt.

A confrontation then ensued, during which Walters repeatedly struck Phillips with an axe in the yard of the multi-family home where they lived.

Three days later, Phillips’ parents reported him missing to Braintree Police, who immediately began an investigation.

On July 29, 2009, Walters went to Braintree Police, where he spoke with a detective from Braintree Police and one from the State Police unit assigned to the district attorney’s office.

After being read his Miranda rights, Walters told investigators about the fight with Phillips, alleging that the victim struck first, and described killing Phillips with the axe.

Traub adds hat Walters than told police how he hid the body in a shed for two days, then drove it to Southwick, where Walters previously has lived.

Later that night, following the questioning, Walters led police to Phillips’ body, which was located in a wooden area off of Babbs Road in Suffield, Conn.

“This was a terrible crime, and a horrible burden for the family of Jeffrey Phillips to bear. We thank the jury for their work, their diligence and their just conclusion. It is our hope that today’s verdict provides Jeffrey’s family whatever modicum of solace the criminal justice system can provide,” Morrissey said in a statement.
Walters, who was also found guilty on a charge of breaking and entering in the daytime and larceny, will be sentenced on Thursday.

Wednesday’s verdict, Traub notes, was delivered on what would have been Phillips’ 35th birthday.