MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A Mount Vernon man may spend the rest of his life in prison following sentencing for his role in a murder at the Levister Towers last year.
On Tuesday, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Phillip Copeland, 29, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to felony counts of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon earlier this year.
Shortly before 10 p.m. on Dec. 12 last year, Copeland was in the lobby of the Levister Towers complex, where his address is listed, waiting for Jlynn Reeves. Surveillance tapes show that the two got into a “heated exchange of words for two minutes,” before the heading down a stairwell leading to the basement, out of the camera’s line of sight.
According to reports, within 30 seconds, the security guard of the building heard gunshots and called his supervisor through a walkie-talkie, who immediately alerted the police. The surveillance video showed Copeland “hurriedly walking back into the building.”
Upon arrival at the scene, police found Reeves’ body at the bottom of the basement stairs surrounded by several shell casings. They then reviewed the surveillance tape, identifying Copeland as a suspect.
At nearly 11:30 p.m., Copeland left an apartment on the first floor, when he was spotted by detectives continuing their investigation into the shooting. Upon questioning him, police found that he was wearing the same sweatshirt as the suspect on the tape, and found a loaded .380 caliber automatic pistol stashed in his sock after patting him down.
Ballistic analysis would later determine that the gun was the murder weapon. An autopsy of Reeves would later reveal he died from gunshot wounds to the neck, chest, abdomen, liver, spleen and kidney.
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