Brothers' conviction a relief to many - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Brothers' conviction a relief to many

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May 24, 2007

Albany -- The two men who terrorized a Northwest Albany neighborhood in the fall of 2005 are headed to prison, one of them for life.

Nineteen-year old Silas Jackson and 23-year old Michael Phillips were convicted of armed robbery and aggravated assault for holdups in the Lake Park Subdivision. It was a crime spree that shocked that quiet neighborhood and served as a call to arms to the people who live there. 

Before the verdict was read, the judge took testimony from a Sheriff's Deputy who said the two brothers, Jackson and Phillips had to be restrained with handcuffs and shackles because of threats they may attack people in the courtroom.

But there were no outbursts when guilty verdicts were read on all but two counts for each of the men. Jury Foreman Darryl Jackson says he knows they made the right decision in finding them guilty. "We really hope that it sends the message that if you do something wrong you will be punished for it."

A message prosecutor Matt Breedon hopes is loud and clear. "You commit these kind of crimes, then we're going to go after you, we're going to go after the maximum sentence."

He says the entire community was imprisoned after the string of armed robberies in November of 2005. "Their crimes really affected everyone.  No demographic was left out.  There was no rhyme or reason to what they did.  Pretty much anyone and everyone was a possible victim."

District Attorney Ken Hodges says it's a miracle no one was killed during the senseless robberies. "These were calculated, pre-planned, horrific acts of violence. Thank goodness that we had 12 members of the community to come in and render a verdict that speaks the truth and one that will result in them being incarcerated for a very long time."

Jackson will serve 45 years in prison, the first 20 without the possibility of parole.

His brother, Michael Phillips was sentenced to two life terms without parole.

As for the community,  Hodges says they will be set free. 

District Attorney Ken Hodges says one good thing that arose from the string of robberies is a revitalization of neighborhood watch groups throughout Albany.

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