An Alabama grandmother mourning the loss of her mother-of-three daughter called the victim’s ex-boyfriend after the murder suspect smiled in court.
Carla Harrell told ABC affiliate WDHN that Benjamin Adam Nowell, 35, should either spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death by the state for the July 2022 murder of his daughter Brittany Phillips. Nowell, who allegedly committed the crime a day after leaving a work release program linked to robbery and drug charges, was described by a friend of Phillips as “the crazy ex-boyfriend who never kept stalking her. Nowell allegedly followed Phillips as she took someone else from a party. He is accused of shooting Phillips in the head after he intentionally rammed his vehicle.
Houston County Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show Nowell has been held without bail on capital murder and criminal trespass charges since July 7, 2022.
Harrell was furious and in disbelief that the capital murder suspect was “sitting there smiling” in court “after doing this to my child.”
“I want him to go to jail for the rest of his life or the death penalty,” said Harrell, the grandmother of the two boys and Phillips’ daughter.
Nowell pleaded not guilty.
An obituary for Phillips said she was “deeply missed by all who knew and loved her”. Phillips was born in Florida and adopted by Harrell. Phillips then graduated from Ashford High School in Alabama.
“Brittany was a good old country girl who loved pickup trucks, tailgating, dirt roads, country dancing and her family. She could go from four-wheeler, covered in mud, to being a beauty queen in one minute,” the obituary said. “Carla knew from the first moment she saw Brittany that she had fallen in love with her brown-eyed baby girl.”
Philippe was 29 years old.
The trial against Nowell would begin on May 22.
Watch the WDHN segment here:
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