Sex Offender Makes His Case, Local Jury Rejects It

William Ray Phillips II (Jail photo)
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WACO (January 9, 2013)--It took a 54th District Court jury only 13 minutes to return a guilty verdict Wednesday in the trial of a local man accused of failing to register as a sex offender.

The punishment phase of the trial of William Ray Phillips II started immediately after the verdict was returned.

State District Judge Matt Johnson, who decided punishment, sentenced Phillips to 10 years in prison.

Phillips, who acted as his own lawyer, claimed he was not required to register as a sex offender because his conviction in an earlier trial was overturned after he served four years of a 99-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The 10th Court of Appeals overturned an earlier state court conviction, but Phillips was also convicted in federal court in 2002 of a possession of child pornography charge, for which he also was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Federal court records also show that while he was on supervised release for the 2002 conviction, he violated the terms of his release and U.S. District Judge Walter Smith ordered him to serve an additional year and one day on the revocation and ordered him to comply with sex offender registration rules after completion of his sentence.

The charge in the state court for which he was found guilty on Wednesday was that he failed to register as the court had ordered.