A jury found a 20-year-old Rock Island man guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday for the 2010 death of his infant son.
Demetrius Phillips faces life in prison at his sentencing, which is set for 2 p.m. Jan. 11 in Rock Island County Circuit Court.
The jury deliberated six hours before reaching its verdict.
Rock Island Circuit Judge Walter Braud held the defendant’s family inside the courtroom for at least 10 minutes to allow jury members a chance to leave the building, he said. Then several deputies stood outside as both Phillips’ immediate family and relatives of Lyrick L. Phillips, the dead child, left the courthouse.
Deputies escorted the child’s maternal grandparents to their car. The maternal grandparents declined to comment after the verdict.
Outside, the Phillips’ sisters declared his innocence.
“Justice was not being served here,” Octtiria Phillips, an older sister, said. “The hospitals killed my nephew. Demetrius is a good boy.”
Phillips was accused of throwing his 4-month-old son, whose head struck a dresser, and lying to doctors about what happened. The child died Dec. 10, 2010, after he was transferred to a hospital in Peoria.
Phillips was 18 years old at the time.
His attorney, Eric Puryear of Davenport, declined to comment afterward. In his opening argument, Puryear called Phillips a “loving father” who didn’t set out to murder his son.