Man sentenced to 105 years for shooting Cobb officer

The man convicted of shooting a Cobb County police officer five times was sentenced to 105 years in prison Friday afternoon.

James Albert Phillips, 36, was found guilty of 12 charges, including criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated battery, trafficking in methamphetamine, criminal damage to property, four counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, and four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the district attorney.

About 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 4, Officer Charles Vill made a traffic stop on Powers Ferry Road near I-285, according to investigators. As Vill, 26, approached the vehicle, he was shot five times, including in the hand.

“James Phillips shot Officer Charles Vill, and then he ran, like a coward,” DA Vic Reynolds said in an emailed statement. “But for the grace of God and that young officer’s Kevlar vest, this is not a murder trial. We are fortunate that there are good people like Officer Vill on the thin blue line out there protecting us.”

Police arrested Phillips about a mile away from the shooting scene when he was found in the stairwell of a home near the Chattahoochee River. He had been held without bond at the Cobb jail since his arrest.

Vill has been out of work since being injured, but told Channel 2 Action News he is expecting to return to duty within the next month.

“This will get me back in the mindset of going back out there,” Vill said after the sentencing.

Phillips’ arrest in February came about three months after he was released from state prison, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. Phillips has previously been convicted twice in Cherokee County on drug and obstruction charges, records showed.