Man Who Savagely Beat Trucker Admits Guilt, But Did Police Botch The Case?
Pocatello, ID – The man who brutally beat a Missouri trucker during an attempted robbery has pleaded guilty to assault after being indicted by a federal grand jury last November.
On Thursday, Stormy Ray Adakai, 24, of Fort Hall, ID, pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury stemming from his attack on truck driver Amos Phillips.
The savage beating occurred on September 2, 2018, at approximately 3:02 a.m inside Phillips’ truck.
Phillips was sleeping and parked at TP Truck Stop in Fort Hall near the Fort Hall Casino, on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, when Adakai broke his way into the passenger side door of his truck.
According to the Fort Hall Police and FBI, Adakai admitted to breaking into Phillips’ semi and beating him with two rocks after demanding money.
Court documents indicate Adakai also admitted he was intoxicated at the time of the attack.
Phillips was thankfully able to fend off the attack, but not before sustaining serious injuries which now threaten his ability to continue his career as a truck driver.
As a result of the assault, Phillips suffered a broken nose, a broken orbital (eye) bone, and a brain hemorrhage.
He also has continued to suffer seizures as a result of the brain hemorrhage.
Adakai is facing up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.
He is set to be sentenced January 22, 2020.
Did Police Mishandle Evidence In The Case?
Shortly after Adakai was indicted, Phillips spoke out about the case to the Post Register.
In that interview, Phillips lashed out at investigators and prosecutors demanding Adakai be charged with more serious crimes.
“I don’t think they are charging this man hard enough,” Phillips said. “There are several charges that the prosecuting attorney’s office said they aren’t going to file, (including) breaking and entering and attempted robbery. They have charged him with assault, but I think it should be attempted murder.”
Phillips says upon learning of the indictment he reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho to inquire why more charges weren’t filed against Adakai.
Phillips said it was explained to him that additional charges were not filed because of the way in which the Fort Hall Police Department investigated the scene of the crime.
Phillips said he was told the Fort Hall Police Department should have immediately dispatched a detective to investigate and obtain physical evidence from the scene.
However, Phillips claims didn’t happen, based on his frequent conversations with Fort Hall police.
Phillips also claimed Fort Hall police did not adequately preserve incriminating DNA evidence from the scene.
He says police acknowledged to him well after the attack they hadn’t recovered crucial evidence including fingerprints, potential sources of DNA and the two rocks Adakai confessed to using in the attack.
Phillips is also leveled charges against the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Police for failure to properly investigate the matter.
Phillips contended the only physical evidence recovered at the scene, a baseball cap that police say Adakai confessed to owning, was not obtained by tribal police until Phillips returned to the truck to retrieve some belongings almost two full days after he was attacked.
Further, Phillips claimed he spoke to Fort Hall authorities more than three weeks after the attack and they admitted they had yet to send the cap to an Idaho State Police forensics lab for testing.
Medical Bills Mounting
Phillips’ racked up medical bills in excess $50,000.
John Williams, the owner Camdenton, Missouri-based JWE, Inc. trucking company where Phillips worked for many years and at the time of the attack, set up a GoFundMe page to help Phillips raise money to pay for his continuing medical treatment.
So far the campaign has raised $8,200 of the $10,000 goal.
Even if the goal of $10,000 is achieved, Phillips will need much more than this to pay for his ongoing care.
Phillips has said it is unlikely he will ever drive a big rig professionally again.
“I’m almost 65-years-old now. Who is going to want to hire a 70-year-old semi-truck driver,” he asked the Post Register.