Seminary man sentenced in deadly stabbing over flashlight

Seminary man sentenced in deadly stabbing over flashlight

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Jones County judge sentenced a Seminary man after authorities said he killed another person over a flashlight in 2017.

Matthew Lee Phillips will spend 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter Monday. Phillips was arrested in April 2017 and charged with one count of murder after an altercation over a flashlight led to the fatal stabbing of 40-year-old Joseph Stringer, according to the Jones County Sheriff's Department.

Stringer was pronounced dead when deputies arrived, and Phillips had left the scene. Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge said alcohol was a factor and that the two had a history of fighting.

"Yes, I felt like it was the best route, because I didn't want it to go to court and him walk a free man," said Stringer's mother, Cheri Fowler, after the sentencing. "Even though my son will never walk again on this earth, I do believe the system should be changed."

Following his release from prison, Phillips must serve three years of supervised release.