Husband charged with second degree murder

James Douglas Phillips, the husband of Louise Phillips who was found dead in her rural Salmon Arm apartment Feb. 18, is now facing second-degree murder charges.

Phillips, 55, was arrested Friday upon his release from Kelowna General Hospital, where he had been under medical care since the Salmon Arm RCMP responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at Louise’s apartment. He was taken into police custody without incident.

“Uniformed officers who were first on the scene that evening were faced with the somber discovery of Louise Phillips dead in her home with her estranged husband on the scene and both persons suffering from apparent stab wounds,” says RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

After initially deeming the death to be suspicious, RCMP now believe Louise’s death to be a homicide.

“Our investigation confirmed this matter was a domestic-related disturbance and our findings indicated the couple were legally separated. James Phillips had returned to reside at the home in Salmon Arm last year off and on. Historical police record checks of the couple did not uncover any previously reported domestic violence-related incidents,” stated Moskaluk.

Phillips is expected to make an appearance in Kelowna court on Monday.

Louise was the office manager at the Salmon Arm Observer.

Louise, 52, had been renting a small apartment, which was attached to the main residence at 76 Timms Rd., while her husband was out-of-town doing employment training. He had returned to Salmon Arm on a reading week break.

A celebration of life for Louise will be held Thursday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Fifth Avenue Seniors Activity Centre.