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Prosecutors want new judge in ‘Baby Kate’ case

Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-05 22:32:30-05

LUDINGTON, Mich. — Officials at the state and county level are pushing to keep a judge from presiding over the murder trial of Sean Phillips in Mason County.

Phillips is the father of ‘Baby Kate’ who went missing in July 2011 and was never found.

Both the Mason County prosecutor and the state Attorney General’s Office want to keep Judge Peter Wadel from presiding over the trial, after Wadel dismissed the murder charged against Phillips at an earlier preliminary hearing.

A circuit court judge later overturned Wadel’s initial decision, reinstating the murder charge against Phillips. That judge has since retired, and acting as current circuit court chief judge now, Wadel assigned himself to the new murder trial he originally ruled against.

The motion filed Thursday is trying to get a new judge for the trial.

Phillips is currently serving a 10-15 year sentence for unlawful imprisonment in connection to ‘Baby Kate’s’ disappearance and is currently appealing that ruling that reinstated the murder charges.