Son of elected Smith County officials sentenced to 30 days in jail for interfering with public duties

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The son of two elected Smith County officials was sentenced to 30 days in the Smith County Jail on Friday after being convicted of misdemeanor interfering with public duties.

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Derek Phillips, 37, was initially arrested on the charge in March 2023 alongside his mother, Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips, after an incident where authorities said the two tried to interfere with a traffic stop involving Derek’s friend.

Bodycam footage from the incident showed a long dispute before the arrests, and in June, both Phillips sued Smith County alleging multiple violations of their Constitutional rights related to the incident.

Mugshot of Derek Phillips.
Mugshot of Derek Phillips courtesy of Smith County Jail.

Both were indicted for interfering with public duties in November, and the trial for Derek began on Wednesday where he was convicted. Karen’s trial is currently scheduled for March 20.

Derek’s older brother Lance Phillips, 40, also has a trial date set for April 24 for a misdemeanor charge related to an incident on Jan. 2 where he was taken into custody for disrupting a Smith County Commissioners Court meeting where his father, Terry Phillips, currently sits as Precinct 3 Commissioner.

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