Woman who hid drugs on bail in murder case

Staff report


Reports said an East Florida Avenue woman taken into custody told police she had drugs hidden in her body in a place where only a female corrections officer at the Mahoning County jail could retrieve them.

Destaney Phillips, 23, was pulled over about 10:20 p.m. on West Boston Avenue on the South Side for making a U-turn in the middle of the street and driving over a sidewalk. She had no license.

When police searched her car before it was towed, they found a pill bottle filled with a white powder under the seat, a scale in the glove box with white powder on it and a credit card with white powder on it. Phillips was arrested on a heroin charge but told police she had nothing else despite smelling heavily of marijuana.

Reports said at the jail Phillips admitted after being asked again that she had something – but it would take a female corrections officer to remove it. They went into a changing room and when they came out, the corrections officer had an ounce of suspected marijuana she took from Phillips.

Phillips faces an additional charge of bringing prohibited items into a detention facility, a felony.

Judge Elizabeth Kobly set bond at $20,000 for that charge Wednesday when Phillips was arraigned in municipal court.

Phillips was charged with aggravated murder in the July 2016 shooting death of Anthony Bianco, 51, of Masury, who was found in a burning car on the East Side. A co-defendant, Akeem Brown, 28, pleaded guilty to an involuntary-manslaughter charge and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Phillips spent several months in jail, but a grand jury has yet to indict her.

Court records show Phillips was released from the jail Feb. 14 with the stipulation that she undergo weekly drug screening.

She was charged in August 2016, and the case was bound over to a grand jury.

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