July 26, 2014

Madison County man gets 15 years for abducting, robbing women at gunpoint

A Madison County man who forced a woman and her mother at gunpoint to take him to an ATM to get money was sentenced in federal court Friday to serve just over 15 years in prison.

Phillip D. Webb, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon to serve to 181 months.

Webb previously pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery, use and carrying of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Webb cried as he listened in court to Herndon talk about the frightening, terrifying ordeal suffered by his two victims, who were in court.

On June 28, 2011, one victim, described only as L.L., stopped to buy gas at the QuikTrip at 608 McCambridge Ave. in Madison.

As she got back into her car after paying for gasoline, Webb hopped in carrying a gun. He brandished the gun and pointed it at L.L. and her mother, L.S., and demanded that L.L. drive to an ATM.

When they arrived at the ATM on the corner of Madison Avenue and Third Street in Madison, Webb forced L.L. to use her ATM debit card and withdraw $200 from her Regions Bank account.

Then, Webb demanded that the victim drive him to the intersection of Edwardsville and Greenwood roads in Madison. He threatened to kill them. When they got to the location, he fled from the vehicle. It was later learned by law enforcement that his grandfather lives nearby.

Victim L.L., on July 7, 2011, was shown a six-picture lineup and Webb was positively identified by her.

She told Herndon she no longer trusts people and no longer finds comfort and joy in going to familiar places.

"My ability to focus on my job has been challenging. It's hard for me return to the person I use to be."

Her mother said Webb's actions affected her life, too. She said though the incident happened almost three years ago, it is still traumatizing.

"He told us that he would kill us if we didn't obey," L.S. said.

L.L. told Herndon that Webb's prior time in prison did not change him.

Defense attorney Robert Herman agreed that Webb should spend 181 months in prison for what he did. But, he said Webb was not human trash. He said he was salvageable.

Herndon told him that no one said Webb was human trash. Herndon said Webb terrified the women while he had them under his control forcing them to drive through Madison.

Herman said he spent a lot of time with Webb preparing for this case and had learned that he is highly intelligent.

"He has a good ability to think, a good self-awareness. He reads. He has not had a lot of the breaks that you and I have had. His mentors and the people he's looked up to were troublemakers. It's not an excuse. It's an explanation."

He told Herndon that Webb's father was killed when he was 6 years old. After that, Webb, at 9, started getting in trouble.

Herman also told Herndon that he had talked to the victims and shared with them that their feelings would dissipate. He said he was kidnapped at gunpoint, locked in the trunk of a car and driven to Alton.

Herndon said Herman's suggestion that at some point the women's fears would fade away was not something that could be seen with certainty.

"I have no ability to see into the future," Herndon said. "I hope it does. But, everybody acts differently. We all hope for the best."

In 2003, Webb was convicted of second-degree murder.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ali Summers told Herndon that Webb was only out of prison for about three months when he committed his latest crime.

Webb was arrested on July 18, 2011, as he ran from an apartment in Collinsville. Police later seized guns and drugs.

Webb read a statement to the judge. "I'm sorry. No one should have to experience such terror," he said.

Turning to the victims, with tears in his eyes, he said, "I humbly apologize to you. I apologize for my transgression. I hope to be given another opportunity, especially for my 14-year-old daughter, nephews and nieces. I am not a bad person. I made a bad decision."

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