The man charged in the 2010 killing of a Kent video producer he considered his romantic rival was convicted of first-degree murder today after a retrial, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
A King County Superior Court jury found William L. “J.R.” Phillip Jr. guilty in the May 2010 stabbing death of Seth Frankel, a father of two who worked as a video producer for the City of Kent. Phillip, 33, killed Frankel after a woman ended her relationship with Phillip to start a relationship with Frankel, according to court documents.
Frankel, 41, was found dead in the living room of his Auburn apartment on May 22, 2010. “He had obvious incise wounds to his neck,” according to charging documents. Police found a bloody hand towel and two zip-ties at the scene.
Phillip was arrested in December 2010 after Auburn police pieced together evidence linking him to the slaying. His DNA was collected at the scene, and he had access to plastic zip ties at his job in Portland that were the same type of zip ties used to confine Frankel. Detectives tracked Phillip through his cellphone records, which showed he had traveled from Portland to Auburn on May 21, 2010.
Frankel’s girlfriend gave investigators Phillip’s name during the investigation and said he was “not happy” when their relationship ended, according to court documents.
Phillip’s first trial ended when Judge Andrea Darvas declared a mistrial in December 2013 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Phillip was retried with a different jury.
He faces a sentence of 20 to 26 years in prison, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said. He will be sentenced June 27.