Wednesday marks 23 years since Maddie Clifton was murdered
- Maddie Clifton (8 years old) was killed by Josh Phillips on November 3, 1998. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2017.
- Phillips, now 37 years old, struck maddie clifton repeatedly using a baseball bat. He also slit her throat and put her body in his bed. For a week, police, family, and strangers searched for the girl.
- Josh Phillips is currently serving life imprisonment for the 1998 murder of his 8 year-old neighbor.
- JACKSONVILLE (Fla.) – Wednesday marks 23-years since one of Jacksonville’s most prominent murders.
- Phillips was convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole at 15 years old. This sentence was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012.
After hearing the horrifying memories of maddie clifton murder from family members during an August hearing, Circuit Judge Waddell Wallace III made his decision in November based on his analysis of the evidence and case law. Phillips could be sentenced to at least 40 years for the first-degree murder conviction, or to life imprisonment if special circumstances were met.
Wallace stated that there was no explanation for the detachment and coldness or callousness of the murder. This was not an accident or impulsive act, but Maddie was lured in a deliberate manner.
Wallace stated that a life sentence is appropriate for a juvenile in a case that’s truly exceptional. He said that it was appropriate to impose the life sentence: “Irredeemable depravity, the worst of the worse or circumstances that are truly special and different from the norm.” “I believe that this is one the most unusual and rare crimes that deserves life imprisonment.”
Phillips’ case was discussed by the judge for nearly 30 minutes. He also spoke about the improvements Phillips made in prison. However, he stated that he believed the community would be hurt if Phillips were released.
After the decision was made, both maddie clifton and Phillips’ families wept.
Phillips’ 25-year life sentence will be reviewed 25 year after his original conviction. Phillips would be back in Duval County courtrooms in 2023.
Phillips addressed the Clifton family, saying that he didn’t pretend or understand their pain or the void they created. “I can tell you this: I understand pain. I am very familiar with the suffering of others. Growing up in prison, I have seen and experienced many dark things. I was close to ending my own life many times during this journey.
Clifton’s family has expressed their sympathy to Phillips’ family before, acknowledging that they too have suffered. This is something that no family should have to endure.
I want to thank everyone who came back to my blog whenever they could and took the time to read them. Although they are sometimes difficult to read because of the content, I appreciate your patience. It is amazing to see how many people have viewed my blog from around the globe. Unfortunately, this will be my last blog entry. I hope that I have given each viewer enough cases to be able to go back to whenever they like. I also hope that some cases will get more attention, since not all cases are solved. Maddie Clifton will be our last case.
Josh said that maddie Clifton came over to play baseball on November 3. He accidentally hit maddie Clifton in the eye with the baseball. He claimed that when she couldn’t stop crying, Josh dragged her to his house in fear that his temperful father, an alcoholic, would discover he had been playing with another person while his parents were away. As he took Maddie into his bedroom, he recalls Maddie’s clothes falling apart. He hit her with his baseball bat again to stop her screaming. She was now unresponsive. He then put her unconscious body under his bed. Josh had returned from work and had a long conversation with his father. Josh went back to his bedroom and found Maddie still alive under his bed. He took the mattress off her chest, cut her throat, and then stabbed her seven times with a knife. Josh had killed her. Josh had participated in the community searches and kept denying that she was buried in his bed. Josh had slept seven nights on the waterbed as her body rotted away.
If you’re interested in learning more about this case, I highly recommend it. This applies to all my cases, as I chose the case based on articles or documentaries I had seen. This is my last case, but I hope that each one of my blog readers continues to find great blogs to read. Below is a link that will provide a detailed outline of Maddie’s case and photos.