Michigan father gets 19 to 45 years in prison for murder of 'Baby Kate'

LUDINGTON, Mich. – A Ludington father was sentenced to 19 to 45 years in prison on Friday in the murder of his 4-month-old daughter.

Sean Phillips was found guilty of second-degree murder in October.

Four-month-old Katherine Phillips, who became known as Baby Kate, vanished in June 2011 and was last seen with her father.

Phillips faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. The defense had requested 15 to 25 years in prison for the homicide, saying Phillips was immediately remorseful and didn't know what to do after the death. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette weighed in on the sentence Friday: 

“Not only was a little girl denied the opportunity to grow up, but her family was forever changed by this man’s actions,” said Schuette. “Those actions can never be undone, but my one hope is that today’s sentencing provides a small amount of peace in knowing that the person responsible is finally facing the consequences of their actions.”

Phillips was sentenced 6 before Judge Peter Wadel in 79th District Court Court. He was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder on October 14, 2016, following a two- week trial.

Phillips was the last person to be seen with four-and-a-half-month-old Katherine Phillips on June 29, 2011. After an argument, Phillips took the infant from her mother’s home. For the next two hours he was unreachable and his whereabouts were unknown.

When Phillips resurfaced at his parents’ house, his daughter was gone. The clothes she had been wearing were found in the pocket of the cargo shorts Philips was wearing, while her empty car seat and diaper bag were found in the trunk of his vehicle.

The baby's body has never been found.