A Culpeper man, already facing 60 years in prison due to violent crimes, pleaded guilty Wednesday to kidnapping and committing a series of armed robberies in Northern Virginia, related to a crime spree that took place in 2009.
George Golder Phillips II, 33, of Culpeper, pled guilty to bank robbery, kidnapping, and two counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 14.
According to a press release issued by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Phillips robbed a series of financial institutions and businesses in 2009. In addition, Phillips kidnapped a woman on Sept. 17, 2009, brandishing a firearm as he approached her car. He forced the woman into the car, blindfolded her in the passenger seat and proceeded to drive from Prince William County, over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, into Maryland. There, he crashed the car and fled on foot.
Phillips was accused of robbing six financial institutions and three businesses, stealing more than $87,000.
Following his apprehension in 2009, Phillips attacked a pair of deputies in the Fauquier County jail while he was being detained. He used a self-made weapon to stab then 41-year-old deputy Thomas Leake in the eye and then gained control of Leake’s service weapon, shooting then 38-year-old deputy Charles Embrey in the leg.
Phillips pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2010 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
He also pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in the death of Justin Lamar Davis, 22, of Alexandria, a fellow inmate at Central State Hospital in 2010. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison on March 13.
Davis was found dead in his room at Central State on the morning of Feb. 28, 2010, by hospital staff members. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said he died as a result of “asphyxia due to neck compression,” or strangulation.
Davis had been transferred to Central State in early January 2010 from Western State Hospital in Staunton. He was committed to Western State in November after a court appearance on misdemeanor charges of assault and battery and resisting arrest. Although he had numerous brushes with the law in Alexandria, court records do not show any felony arrests for him.
Phillips, who previously had addresses in Culpeper and Fauquier counties, was in Central State at the time of Davis’ death awaiting trial in Fauquier on the attempted murder charges. He was transferred to the Petersburg hospital’s secure Forensic Unit from Clarke-Frederick-Fauquier-Winchester Regional Jail in Winchester because of problem behavior he exhibited there, including attempting to harm himself.
Phillips has a lengthy criminal history, including a guilty plea in 1998 to a robbery charge in Fauquier, as well as carjacking and abduction charges in Prince William County that were dropped after he was charged in the Central State case. He was also arrested in Culpeper in October 2009 on nine counts of forging public records.
In the case for which the hearing was being held when Phillips attacked the two deputies, federal court documents indicate he was accused of two armed robberies, at a Safeway grocery store in Bristow in July 2008 and a branch of Fauquier Bank in Warrenton in January 2009.
According to court documents, in the Safeway robbery Phillips was carrying a sawed-off shotgun and wearing a ski mask, and obtained $4,000. In the bank robbery, Phillips carried a rifle and obtained $29,244, some $8,400 of which was scattered on the ground as the robber fled the scene.
The investigation of the armed robberies was conducted by FBI’s Washington Field Office jointly with the Virginia State Police; Fauquier County, Orange County, and Frederick County Sheriff’s Offices; and Prince William County and Front Royal Police Departments.