Local News

Man Faces Rape, Attempted Murder Charges After Hostage Situation

Posted January 14, 2008 6:02 p.m. EST

— A man was charged with three sexual offenses, as well as kidnapping and attempted murder, after he allegedly took a woman hostage in Chatham County on Sunday.

Shortly after midnight, deputies were called to the home of William Preston Phillips, 36, of 2593 Pea Ridge Road, to handle a possible hostage situation. Before they arrived, deputies learned Phillips and the victim had left.

Around 11:15 a.m., deputies located the two in a car in a field surrounded by woods, 200 yards south of New Elam Church on Pea Ridge Road. Philips refused to let the woman go and claimed he had dynamite in the car, officials said.

Negotiators convinced Phillips to let the woman go around 1:30 p.m., and he surrendered about a little over an hour later.

Phillips and the woman were appearantly in a relationship, officials said.

Phillips was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon. But on Monday, authorities upgraded those charges to include attempted first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and crimes against nature.

The woman – whose identity authorities withheld – suffered a laceration on her neck, two puncture wounds on her thigh and a slash to her bottom lip. She was flown to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and was expected to undergo surgery for multiple knife wounds.

Phillips had a laceration on his left forearm and was also treated at UNC Hospitals. Deputies said they suspect his wound was self-inflicted.