Panhandle Suspect Arrested


A Selma man wanted on rape and robbery charges in Mobile and the Florida Panhandle has surrendered to police in Mobile.

Police Sergeant John Goodwin said 27-year-old Eric Leon Phillips turned himself in early Saturday morning.

He's charged in the home invasion rape of a 29-year-old Mobile woman and the sexual molestation of her nine-year-old daughter that occurred Dec. 28. He then fled in the victim's car.

Later that same day, police said Phillips traveled to Ponce de Leon, Florida where he held up an Exxon Service Station.

The 17-year-old female clerk was sexually molested and $200 was taken from the cash register.

Sergeant Goodwin said Mobile and Florida authorities, working together, identified Phillips as the suspect in the Exxon robbery.

Charges against Phillips include attempted murder, rape, sodomy, burglary, sexual abuse and theft.

Phillips had been free on bond since May in Selma on burglary and carrying a concealed weapon charges.

Selma Police said Phillips left jail on a $10,000 bond only to attempt burglary five days later.