Dale Phillips: Joplin Man Gets 10 Years for Nephew's Drinking Game Death


Dale Phillips and Linda Petrait: They won the drinking game, but lost at life.
  • Dale Phillips and Linda Petrait: They won the drinking game, but lost at life.
Dale Phillips, 29, was sentenced concurrently to ten years for second degree murder and five years for child endangerment in the death of his 11-year-old nephew, Tyler Fecko. Phillips and his girlfriend, Linda Petrait, were caring for the boy in Phillips' home back in 2009 when the pair decided to play a game and include Tyler in the fun.

They chose to play a drinking game.

Phillips and Petrait broke out the whiskey bottle, and the game began. During the night of July 27, 2009, Tyler ingested a fatal amount of whiskey. His uncle put him to bed at some point, and never checked on him again.

In the morning, the 11-year-old boy was dead from alcohol poisoning.

Both Phillips and Petrait originally pleaded innocent of any wrongdoing. While police were waiting for the toxicology reports, they were tipped off by Fecko's other, more responsible relatives that the uncle and his girlfriend were planning to flee. Police moved quickly, and apprehended the pair.

In October of 2011, Petrait changed her plea to guilty and was sentenced to 13 years for her role in the boy's death. Phillips reversed course and pleaded guilty to the charges in January 2012. He was sentenced yesterday.

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