It took a couple of months for a Jacksonville judge to make this decision, but he ultimately chose to resentence convicted killer Josh Phillips to life in prison.
Phillips was 14 when he killed 8-year-old Maddie Clifton and hid her under a bed in 1998.
Judge Waddell Wallace said he had a difficult time handing down the sentence -- and hoped Phillips could find a meaningful life in prison.
Phillips was originally sentenced to life in prison, but because of a Supreme Court ruling that said life in prison for juvenile was unconstitutional, his case was given a second look.
Wallace decided because of the heinous details of the case -- and the cold nature of Josh's behavior -- was enough to send him back to prison for life.
"Love your babies, love your family like there's no tomorrow," said Shelia Delongis, Maddie's mother.
Phillips' case will be reviewed again in six years, meaning he will get another chance to reduce his sentence.
10:32 a.m. Judge Waddell Wallace said this case "warrants a life sentence." Says "this is a sad day for me. I wish you well."
10:07 a.m. Judge Waddell Wallace says "It is unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to mandatory life. This is a horrific crime ... it has an extraordinary effect on the community."
10:01 a.m. The hearing has begun. | Watch live
UPDATE: @BridgetteAnJax says the hearing will begin around 10 a.m.
Convicted Jacksonville killer Joshua Phillips is expected to learn his fate Friday — for the second time.
Phillips is set to be resentenced for the 1998 murder of his neighbor, 8-year-old Maddie Clifton.
Phillips was 14 when he stabbed Clifton to death and hid her body under his bed.
During a court hearing in August, Phillips took the stand and apologized directly to the family.
“I did something horrible, and i am so sorry,” Phillips said.
“It was good to hear,” said Jessie Clifton, Maddie’s sister. “It still doesn't change anything, but I think it needed to be said.”
Phillips is currently serving a life sentence. A recent Supreme Court ruling states mandatory life sentences for juveniles without parole are unconstitutional, which means felons like Phillips can be resentenced.
Phillips’ case will be up for review again in six years, even if a judge does not change his life sentence.
Cox Media Group