Father and son suspects take opposing stances


News staff writer

July 1, 2006

A mid-valley man and his adult son have been accused of sexually abusing the same young girl — but have taken two different stands on the charges against them.

Ronald Carroll Philips, 54, of Webb Drive recently pleaded guilty to the crime and will spend 75 months in prison. His son, Jeremiah, 27, a Dee Highway resident, has entered a not guilty plea and asked to take his case before a jury.

In March, the elder Phillips fled from Hood River County after the child reported the offenses against her. He was caught weeks later in Moro after KPTV-12 picked up an alert that was published in the Hood River News.

His employer saw the story and recognized the photo as one of his workers. He reported Phillips’ location to the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office. When the fugitive arrived for work later that same morning, law enforcement officials were waiting to take him into custody.

On June 14, Phillips appeared in Hood River before Judge Donald Hull and admitted to the felony sex abuse. The mother of the victim was too distraught to appear in court. However, she asked Deputy District Attorney Carrie Rasmussen to relay her telephone message to Hull.

“I hope he will die behind bars because this is what happened to my family (death of daughter’s innocence),” she stated.

Phillips also pleaded guilty to sexually abusing his step-daughter, now an adult. She was not present in court but had Rasmussen deliver her “now I’ll be believed” message. She said the family had denied the accusations of abuse that she had brought forward years earlier.

Rasmussen told Hull that, while Phillips had acknowledged sexually assaulting his own sister when she was 5 years old, the statute of limitations had run out to prosecute that crime.

“We are talking about three generations of girls that have been abused by this man,” she said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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