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Aug. 6, 2015 -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that Phillip Copeland (DOB 3/16/86) of 70 West 3rd Street, Mount Vernon pled guilty to an indictment on the following charges:

  • one count of Murder in the Second Degree, a class "A" Felony and
  • one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class "C" Felony.

On Dec. 12, 2014 at approximately 9:54 p.m., the defendant was standing in the lobby of Levister Towers located at 70 West 3rd St.in Mount Vernon. A few minutes later the victim, Jlynn Reeves (DOB 12/7/77) walked into the lobby.

A video surveillance camera records the two in a heated exchange of words for approximately two minutes.

While still arguing, Copeland walks off towards a stairwell that leads to the basement. The victim followed him. At this point, neither man is in range of the video camera.

Within 30 seconds the security guard hears gunshots and immediately calls his supervisor on a walkie-talkie. The supervisor calls 911 and the defendant is seen hurriedly walking back into the building.

When police arrive they discover Reeves body at the bottom of the basement stairs surrounded by several spent shell casings. The security guard showed detectives the video.

At approximately 11:29 p.m. the defendant exits an apartment on the first floor at which point a detective recognizes him from the video.

Copeland is stopped and questioned. Detectives ask him to unzip his jacket. They see a distinctive sweatshirt he was wearing in the video. Copeland is then patted down. A loaded .380 caliber automatic pistol was found secreted in Copeland's sock. Ballistic analysis later determined it to be the murder weapon.

The defendant was placed under arrest. An autopsy of Reeves revealed that he died from gunshot wounds to the neck, chest, abdomen, liver, spleen and kidney.

The defendant is remanded at the Westchester County Jail.

He is due to be sentenced on Sept. 15, 2015.

The defendant faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Julia Cornachio of the Superior Court Trial Division is prosecuting the case.


Phillip Copeland

Phillip Copeland