Joplin man draws 20 years in fatal shooting

Kosaksy C. Phillip

Circuit Judge Dean Dankelson sentenced Kosaksy Phillip to 20 years in prison Monday for the fatal shooting of Diamond Bradley at a motel on the southwest side of Joplin.

Bradley, 33, of Joplin, was shot four times on Aug. 29, 2018, inside a guest room of the Economy Inn & Suites at 1700 W. 30th St. in what police believe was a drug-related altercation. Phillip, 26, shot Bradley with a .22-caliber handgun that Phillip obtained from 18-year-old friend Jaden Collins.

Collins testified at a preliminary hearing last year that he took the gun from his parents' home two weeks before the shooting because the two friends felt they needed protection among the company they were keeping on the streets of Joplin. Collins told the court that he went to the motel to get high and was in the room when Bradley was shot.

According to Collins, several people were smoking methamphetamine in the room that day. Bradley arrived a couple of hours after Collins, knocked on the door and was let in.

Collins testified that he was not aware of any prior issues between Bradley and "June Bug," Phillip's street alias.

Bradley asked Collins for a cigarette shortly after entering the room. A few minutes later, he approached Phillip, according to Collins. The two men had a brief exchange of words. Collins testified at the hearing that he does not know what they said to each other because he was not paying close enough attention.

"I don't really know," Collins said. "I couldn't tell you. I didn't really hear a verbal argument."

Collins testified that Bradley then turned to leave and Phillip pulled out the gun and said to him: "You're not leaving." Bradley tried to walk out the door anyway, and Phillip shot him, according to Collins.

After the shooting, police say Phillip ran out of the motel, firing a final shot as he fled across the parking lot. He was arrested about four hours later when he returned to the motel and officers spotted him using the motel's ice machine.

An autopsy determined that rounds struck Bradley once in the chest, once in the hip and twice in a lower leg. He was still alive when emergency medical help and police arrived, but he later died at Freeman Hospital West.

Phillip initially was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He pleaded guilty Sept. 26 to the reduced count of second-degree murder in a plea agreement dismissing the armed criminal action charge and capping the sentence he might receive at no more than 20 years.

Dankelson assessed the defendant the maximum term he could receive under the plea deal.

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