Life sentence to be reduced for Scotland man

By: W. Curt Vincent - Editor

RALEIGH — A Scotland County man convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison has been given a parole date by the Mutual Agreement Parole Program.

Phillip Bostic, now 66, was sentenced in June 1994 for the death of a woman on or about May 16, 1994, in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Laurinburg. He has been scheduled for release on Feb. 3, 2021, after serving just 26 years.

After sentencing in Scotland County Superior Court, Bostic has been held at the New Hanover Correctional Center in Wilmington since June 16, 1994.

According to court records, trial documents state that Bostic had previously beaten the woman — who is not identified — on at least two occasions, as well as threatened to kill her.

Evidence presented at trial reportedly showed that Bostic, then 42, was seen hitting the victim near the cemetery at 4:30 a.m. on the morning the Laurinburg Police Department received a phone call regarding the discovery of the woman’s body at 9 a.m. that same day.

Later reports claim that Bostic admitted killing the woman to another inmate.

There was evidence that three of the victim’s ribs had been fractured near the time of her death; the victim had a torn thumbnail, there were scratches on her abdomen, and she was not wearing one of her shoes. The victim was found in a remote part of a cemetery with her hands folded across her midsection.

On Dec. 19, 1995, Bostic’s case was brought before the Court of Appeals of North Carolina and Judge Catherine C. Eagles. The appeals centered around a number of issues stemming from the original trial, but Bostic’s team was deemed not to have proven any substantial points that would allow for a retrial, and Bostic’s appeal was denied.

Since being in prison, Bostic has been accused of several infractions, including theft of property in February 2017, selling/misusing medications in April 2014, theft of property in April 2011, escape in December 2006, profane language in December 2004, having unauthorized funds in August 2002 and creating an offensive condition in November 1998.

MAPP is a scholastic and vocational program that is a three-way agreement between the Commission, the Division of Prisons and the offender. The state’s current sentencing law, Structured Sentencing, eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. However, the Commission has the responsibility of paroling offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines.

W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]

Phillip Bostic was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994

W. Curt Vincent