- Oxford Eagle, November 15, 1997
- Deputy Phillips awakes from coma
Law officer to fully recover, doctors
- Chase McFadden
- Doctors at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford
announced today that Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Deputy
Morgan Phillips has awakened from his coma.
- "This is really one of the most amazing recoveries
we've ever seen," said Christian Dresch, M.D., Phillips'
physician. "You could almost say it's a miracle. We don't
know why he woke up, but we're glad he did."
- Phillips woke on Friday evening and spoke briefly
with members of his family and doctors. Dresch reported
that Phillips' first words were "Have they caught them?",
apparently referring to suspected murderer Edward Pierce
and Proud Larry's Attacker Anthony Phelps.
- Phillips was injured on Sept. 20, when a sheriff's
department transport van that was moving Pierce and
Phelps to a more secure location crashed into a guardrail
and flipped over several times before catching on fire.
- Deputy Kennon Schiff, the driver of the van, was
killed in the crash, and Philips was severely injured.
The two suspects fled on foot from the scene, taking with
them Phillips' gun and ammunition and his uniform shirt.
Phelps was found dead in a motel room in Amite, La.,
Sept. 29, and Pierce was killed in a shoot-out in Las
Vegas Oct. 17.
- When he was informed that both suspects had died,
Phillips expressed his satisfaction, Dresch said.
- Dresch said Phillips should fully recover and be on
his feet by the end of this month in order to answer
questions concerning the accident. It is still
undetermined what part Phelps or Pierce played in the
- Phillips is a seven-year veteran of the Yoknapatawpha
Sheriff's Department, during which time he has served as
interim sheriff on three different occasions. Former
Sheriff Charles "Chuck" Lamar described Phillips as a
"model deputy" who served his community in numerous ways,
as a member of the boards of various local charities and
also as a volunteer fireman with the Oxford Fire
- "We're overjoyed," said sheriff Taylor Sheldon. "His
victory against death has been a victory for all of us."
- Anna Gail Phillips, the deputy's wife, shed tears of
elation when this reporter spoke with her at the
- "I just thank God for this, I can't tell you. It's
been so long, sometimes I would almost give up hope, but
somehow I always managed to have faith that this day
would come," Phillips said. "It has, and I'm just so