Tearful testimony doesn’t sway judge, man’s probation revoked, is given 5 years in prison

A tearful Phillip Roy Wilcoxon and his wife, Amanda, attempted to convince Judge John Putman to extend his probation rather than sending him to prison during a revocation hearing in Baxter County Circuit Court last week.

But, their emotional testimony did not sway the judge who revoked Wilcoxon's probation and sentenced him to five years in the penitentiary.

The 42-year-old Wilcoxon of Mountain Home is no stranger to the legal system with a criminal history dating back more than 20 years. He was required to register as a sex offender in 1994 after being convicted of two counts of rape stemming from sexual activity with a 13-year-old female.

During the revocation hearing, Judge Putman recalled his past dealings with Wilcoxon and asked him how many times he had been to prison. Wilcoxon responded four.

It first appeared Wilcoxon might accept a plea agreement offered by the state, but when he balked, 14th Judicial District Deputy Prosecutor Kerry Chism said the state was ready to move forward with a revocation hearing, and leave it up to the court to make the decision on whether to revoke or not.

The state asked that Wilcoxon's probation in two 2017 felony cases be revoked, and that he be sent to prison based on an incident in which Wilcoxon is alleged to have assaulted his wife and threatened to kill three men who witnessed the confrontation and offered the wife aid on October 16, 2018.

During testimony, two very different versions of the events of that day emerged.

One came from three family members who saw and heard what they described as a very loud argument between Wilcoxon and his wife in front of the mens' place of business. The trio -- a father and two sons -- testified Wilcoxon's red SUV was parked in the highway which first brought the father's attention to the argument which continued to increase in intensity.

The three witnesses said they all ended up outside their business to see what was going on between the couple. The father told the court he asked the woman if she wanted to come into their place of business to get away from the man.

After the offer of assistance was made, Wilcoxon was alleged to have cursed the father and told him to "go back inside and mind your own business."

Once all three witnesses were outside, Wilcoxon was said to have threatened to kill all of them. The father called police bringing on another allegedly loud and profane outburst from Wilcoxon.

The youngest son testified that the argument between Wilcoxon and his wife continued to escalate, and when Wilcoxon began to threaten the family members the son decided he needed a weapon to defend himself, his brother and father. He told the court he went into the business, got a shotgun and came back outside.

The son testified Wilcoxon, who he said had gotten out of his vehicle, retreated back into the SUV when he saw the shotgun.

The witnesses said Wilcoxon grabbed his wife by the hair, pulled her into the vehicle and left the scene.

Wilcoxon said he took off after police were called because he was "scared ... I was driving and I was not supposed to be driving."

Both Wilcoxon and his wife admitted there was a loud argument between the two. The wife testified the dispute was about money.

They denied most of the other accusations made against them. They testified Wilcoxon never got out of the SUV, that they never saw anyone with a shotgun, that no death threats were made and that Wilcoxon did not grab his wife's hair and pull her into his vehicle.

Wilcoxon testified he was disabled and stayed at home to care for the couple's small daughter. His wife told the court she is the breadwinner -- working two regular jobs and doing whatever other work she could get to provide for the family.

In making his ruling, Judge Putman told Wilcoxon the major requirement for someone on probation is to obey the law, and that Wilcoxon had failed to meet the requirement. "Threatening to kill three people is not obeying the law," the judge said. He said because of Wilcoxon's behavior and actions, "I have no regret about the sentence."

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