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Jury hands down life sentence

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GLEN JACKSON
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - An Ellis County jury convicted Miguel Arciba for the murder of Doris Phillips Monday, capping a week-long trial. Arciba faces life in prison without parole.

Arciba, who worked for Phillips' family as a gardener, was originally not the suspect in the case.

Investigators with the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, the U.S. Secret Service and agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency originally pinned the murder on one of Phillips' sons.

The trial was overshadowed by an Ellis County Press story ECSO investigators alleged they were 'pressured' by the county/district attorney's office to file the case against Arciba (after Phillips' son had been cleared) as murder instead of capital murder.

County/District Attorney Joe Grubbs also said no discussions were made about a possible plea bargain for Arciba, despite the allegations from investigators that defense attorney Charles Slaton and Grubbs' office had been in those talks.

Relatives for Phillips, the aunt of NBC Dateline's Stone Phillips, said they were reluctant to pursue the death penalty due to Arciba's mother insisting her son confess to the crimes.

Prosecutors and family members said the apparent motive for the killing was robbery.

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