A 39-year-old Arkansas man was believed to have sexually abused a teenage girl when she was 6 years old, then two men put justice to their hands and allegedly revenge by killing the sexual predator, but they are now facing the death penalty for what they did.
Fox affiliate KTVI reported that 43-year-old Daniel Blanks of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and 40-year-old Reginald Baker of Seligman, Missouri may face the death penalty after the two were each charged with capital murder, kidnapping, and burglary in connection with the death of Richard Phillips, who police say was severely beaten and shot multiple times before his body was mutilated and left in the woods, St. Louis.
It all started when an unnamed girl in Seligman, Missouri, reportedly told police she attended a birthday party on Oct. 27 where she told Reginald Baker and Daniel Blanks that she had been sexually abused by Richard Phillips when she was 6 years old. Baker became enraged by the girl’s story of abuse. He reportedly grabbed a knife from the kitchen, ready to kill Phillips at the party, but the girl was able to calm him down.
On the night of Nov. 23, a friend of Phillips called the Springfield Police Department and reported that he had been in Phillips’ apartment located on Cooper Drive when two men broke in and brutally attacked Phillips.
The friend reportedly told investigators that the two assailants repeatedly accused Phillips of sexually assaulting a little girl as they beat him unconscious then dragged his body down from the third-floor apartment to a vehicle.
Officers responded to the scene and reportedly found a trail of blood leading out the front door of Phillips’ apartment to a spot where the friend said the two men parked their car.
After the attack, the teenager who was allegedly abused by Phillips reportedly called her family and said Phillips was dead and “where he should be.” She also allegedly sent them pictures from the crime scene, something she told police she did because she thought they should know what happened to Phillips.
KSN also reported the incident:
Detectives obtained the juvenile girl’s phone and found messages between her and Baker. She asked Baker about Phillips’ disappearance and Baker denied having anything to do with it.
Police got Baker’s cell number and obtained a warrant to search his messages. Baker had sent a text message to another person asking to meet him at an address in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
On Nov. 26, the day before Phillips’ body was found, police went to that Tulsa address and located a pickup truck matching the description of the vehicle seen on the security footage in Springdale. The truck was registered to Daniel Blanks. There was another truck also parked in the driveway; that vehicle was registered to Reginald Baker.
The two men were sitting inside Baker’s truck. They were arrested without incident. Detectives found blood in Blanks’ truck and a shotgun inside Baker’s.
Both Baker and Blanks were charged with capital murder, kidnapping, and residential burglary.
Even though Phillips’ body was found in Missouri, Baker and Blanks will be tried in Arkansas because investigators believe Phillips was killed there.