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Wounded trooper confronts Phillips

One of the three state troopers Ralph "Bucky" Phillips shot last summer looked Phillips in the eye Wednesday and called him a "coward."

The confrontation between Trooper Sean Brown and Phillips occurred in Elmira's Chemung County Court where Phillips was sentenced to 40 years to life for the June 10 shooting of the trooper.

Brown said he was thankful he was physically able to return to duty to protect the public from people like Phillips.

Brown gave a statement while standing about 12 feet from Phillips and, at times, staring at the admitted shooter.

"It was a very, very dramatic moment, and it illustrated the kind of people we have in police work in this state," said Chemung County District Attorney John R. Trice.

Phillips, 44, shot Brown in the stomach when the officer stopped him in a stolen car in the Town of Veteran. Phillips smiled at Brown just before shooting him from a distance of about 4 feet, according to State Police.

Phillips Tuesday was sentenced to life in prison, without a chance for parole, in the Aug. 31 murder of Trooper Joseph A. Longobardo in Chautauqua County.

He was also sentenced to 40 years to life for wounding Longobardo's partner, Trooper Donald H. Baker Jr.

He also was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life for escaping from an Erie County correctional facility.

In addition to the 40 years to life prison term given to Phillips for the aggravated attempted murder of Brown, he was sentenced to at least 25 years for attempted murder, 15 years for possession of a weapon and 3 1/2 years for possessing a stolen car.

During Wednesday's proceedings, Phillips asked County Judge Peter C. Buckley if he could fire his lawyer and withdraw his guilty pleas, but Buckley refused -- as Judge Richard C. Kloch Sr. had done on Tuesday.

Brown's father and his sister also addressed Buckley's court.

e-mail: dherbeck@buffnews.com

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