Man suspected of murdering Spokane mom appears in court

WARNING: The contents of this story are graphic and may be upsetting to readers. Please be advised before reading further.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The man accused of murdering a Spokane mom and trying to kill her daughter made his first appearance virtually in court Monday.

We now know the attack on the Kassie Dewey and her daughter was incredibly violent. It was revealed in proceedings that Kassie was stabbed 26 times, including once that penetrated her heart — an attack that police say showed signs that she struggled.

Her five-year-old daughter was stabbed 10 times, but survived.

Joshua Phillips, the man accused of attacking Dewey and her daughter, did not appear in court today in-person. Instead, he made his first appearance virtually in the Spokane District Court, seen wearing a suicide vest.

Police say he tried to kill himself after the attack. They also say the day before the incident, Phillips sent almost 100 messages to the Dewey — some of which they say were very disturbing.

Dewey had allegedly just kicked Phillips out of her home.

Phillips is a nurse at Eastern State Hospital, and this is not the first time he’s been accused of domestic violence — in July of 2019, court records show he was accused of grabbing his then-girlfriend, putting her in a headlock and choking her.

At the time, Phillips was charged with second-degree assault, but those charges were later reduced in a plea deal.

Last June, he pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct and one of malicious mischief. He was still employed at Eastern State Hospital last week when Kassie Dewey was killed.

Phillips is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, and his bond is set at $1.5 million.

Domestic Violence

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Police identify man suspected of killing Spokane mother

RELATED STORY: ‘Beautiful, outgoing and fun’: Friends and family hold candlelight vigil for murdered Spokane mother