Accused murderer convicted of violent crime last year
Phillips was out on probation for 2007 robbery when accused of murdering a TSU employee.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jerrod Phillips was out on probation for another crime when he was accused of murdering Tennessee State University employee Nathaniel Adefope in early September.
Phillips, 23, was arrested Tuesday night in the death of his co-worker who was found stabbed and beaten to death on September 8.
Investigators said Phillips, who was a temporary employee at the farm, received medical treatment for cuts to his hand on the day Adefope, a 60-year-old supervisor at the Frank A. Young Poultry Plant, was murdered.
DNA samples were taken and linked to the victim.
At the time of the murder, the suspect was out on probation for another violent crime.
Phillips was convicted last year of robbing an east Nashville Dollar General Store and received a four-year sentence.
News 2 obtained surveillance video of Phillips entering the store back in December 2007.
The video shows him robbing the store and in the process, attacking and injuring store manager Kenneth Nutt.
Nutt described the attack: "He just mauled me like a bear to be honest. At that time I didn't know if he had a weapon or not. I was expecting to get stabbed or shot, myself, and... Basically picked me up and slammed me down against three concrete steps, broke some ribs."
Officials question Phillips' light sentence.
Phillips could have been sentenced up to six years in jail, but was only sentenced to four years of probation.
After the sentence, he was free to go back onto the street.
Now, just 13 months after Phillips was convicted of the robbery, he is charged with killing Adefope.
Assistant District Attorney Rob McGuire prosecuted Phillips for the robbery and told News 2 there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of aggravated robbery, so a lesser charge was settled upon.
Nutt says he does not believe Phillips received a proper sentence for his crime, and neither does McGuire.
McGuire said, "We actually were seeking a longer sentence and a sentence to serve. We were seeking, our request was that Mr. Phillips would be required to serve a sentence, and the judge decided not to do that.
According to McGuire, Phillips did not have an extensive criminal history.
That was one of the factors in his sentencing.
News 2 tried to contact the judge in the robbery case, but he was unavailable.
Phillips is currently being held in Metro jail on $500,000 bond.