Attorney Slams Murder Charge in Wylie's Angel Case

The attorney for the grandmother of "Wylie's Angel" said he doesn't think murder charges will stand against his client.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Darlene Phillips on Friday on a single count of murder in the death of Gerren Isgrigg, her 6-year-old grandson.

Phillips is accused of abandoning the child in Wylie park. His body was found April 15 by a landscaper.

But Marc Fratter, Phillips' attorney, said prosecutors won't be able to prove a murder case against his client.

"The emotion of it, the fact that it brought national attention is what pushed the state to seek a murder indictment," he said.

Fratter said manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide are more appropriate charges. She had no motive to kill her grandson, he said.

"None of this, certainly, was motivated by anger or rage (there was) nothing financial to gain," he said.

Phillips was the primary caregiver for Gerren, a child with special needs, for three years.

“This was a full-time, 24-7 job for Darlene,” Fratter said.

The autopsy report indicates the child died two days after he was left near a Wylie pond. He was possibly left three days before his body was found on April 15, according to the report.

The Collin County medical examiner said Gerren “died as a result of a lack of medical attention and exposure, developmental delay, impaired mobility and needed constant medical attention. He was left alone in a remote wooded area while still alive and subsequently found deceased."

Fratter said Nyki Phillips, the boy's mother and Phillips' daughter, shares blame in his death.

“Nyki has some explaining to do,” Fratter said. “This wasn't, 'Hey, Gerren is moving in,' this is a, 'I need some time, can you watch Gerren for a few weeks?'”

But the "few weeks" turned into a few years, Fratter said. He said Nyki Phillips had not seen her son in three years, despite living nearby in Oklahoma, and had abandoned the boy.

”She certainly enjoyed the benefits of what child support brought to her, which was money -- none of which made its way to Gerren or the family,” Fratter said.

He said Darlene Phillips repeatedly asked her daughter for help.

Fratter would not elaborate on what happened the day his client allegedly left her grandson by the pond.

He said he is trying to get Phillips' bond reduced so she can get out of jail and get a proper psychological evaluation.

Nyki Phillips has repeatedly declined to comment on the case. She has not been charged in her son's death.

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