Trial date pushed to Oct. 14 in Kent for man accused of Frankel's murder

William Phillips enters a not guilty plea to murder in March 2011. - Kent Reporter, file photo
William Phillips enters a not guilty plea to murder in March 2011.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

The trial date has been continued Oct. 14 for the Portland man accused of the 2010 stabbing death of Seth Frankel, a city of Kent employee and Auburn resident.

William L. Phillip, 32, was scheduled for trial Sept. 30 for a first-degree murder charge, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The trial was continued because a deputy prosecutor for the case is on trial in a separate case, according to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Defense attorneys have been granted several requests from King County Superior Court judges to continue the trial date. Phillip has waived his right to a speedy trial.

Phillip, of Portland, remains in custody at the county jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $1 million. He pleaded not guilty in March 2011 to a first-degree murder charge after being extradited from Portland.

The jury trial could last six weeks, according to court documents.

Frankel, 41, a city video-program coordinator, was killed May 21, 2010 inside his Auburn home. He was discovered the following day by a neighbor who was checking on his welfare, looked through a window, and saw the body.

Prosecutors allege that Phillip, a former boyfriend of the woman Frankel dated and lived with, drove to Auburn to kill Frankel because he was angry that someone else was dating the woman. Detectives connected Phillip to the murder through a blood-stained towel found at Frankel’s house as well as cellphone records that put Phillip near the home the night of Frankel's death.

Frankel's girlfriend told detectives that Phillip wanted a romantic relationship with her and spoke badly about Frankel even though he had never met him, according to charging papers. Phillip had seen a photo of Frankel that the girlfriend had and knew where he lived.

Auburn Police – with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service – arrested Phillip in December 2010 in Portland for Frankel's death.


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