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2:37 PM Sun, Sept. 23rd

Man gets 27 years for stabbing art store owner

<b>Phillip M. Ewing</b>

<b>Phillip M. Ewing</b>

Yavapai Superior Court Judge William T. Kiger sentenced a man who stabbed a woman in the back at her store in Prescott to 27.6 years in prison on Wednesday.

A Yavapai Superior Court jury convicted Phillip M. Ewing, 35, last month on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and weapons misconduct in the Oct. 30, 2009, stabbing of Tammy Camarot at her store, ARTrageous Gallery, in the Hotel St. Michael's Alley along Whiskey Row.

Before the sentencing, Robert Gundacker, Ewing's defense attorney, said, "I'm not going to ask the court to have him walk out of the court room or receive a presumptive sentence. That's not going to happen. There's certainly aggravating factors in the case, judge. We know the court is going to impose an aggravated sentence. That's the reality."

Deputy County Attorney Keith Evans said, "If ever there was a case for an aggravated sentence for the most amount of time, I feel this is it."

Then Ewing addressed Kiger.

"I'm sorry for stabbing Tammy Camarot," Ewing said. "I wish I never did it. I wish I wasn't drunk when I did it either."

"I hope she gets real well," Ewing said. "You know what? I wish I never did it. That's about it."

Kiger sentenced Ewing to 23.1 years in prison on the charge of attempted first-degree murder, 16.25 concurrent years in prison on the charge of aggravated assault, and 4.5 years in prison on the charge of weapons misconduct.

"Mitigating circumstances presented by your attorney and your dad show that you have had a significant mental health struggle throughout your life," Kiger said. "While it didn't rise to the level of being a defense in this case, it certainly is something that interfered with your capacity to control your conduct."

Then Kiger spoke about aggravating factors in this case.

"There has been a great deal of physical, emotional and probably financial harm that your conduct inflicted on this victim and her family," Kiger said. "That's a significant aggravating circumstance in this case."

Kiger also stated, "It's cruel to stab somebody in the back. It's cruel because it inflicts pain on that person and clearly that happened in this case."

"The idea of 'heinous and depraved' deals with what went on in the defendant's mind," Kiger said. "It can't be ignored. There was an aspect to how you handled yourself and how you looked at this crime where you seemed, at least to the court, to be relishing the idea of and what you had done as far as inflicting that pain on that person at that time."

Kiger determined that aggravating circumstances outweighed the mitigating circumstances in both the attempted first-degree murder and the aggravated assault charges, which called for enhanced sentencing.

Kiger also determined that presumptive sentencing was appropriate for the weapons misconduct charge.

Kiger ordered the sentences for attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault to begin today and run concurrently. Kiger said the sentence for weapons misconduct would run consecutively, or after, the sentences for the other charges.

Kiger credited Ewing for the 350 days he has spent in jail and put that toward his sentences.

Kiger said he'd leave the issue of restitution to Camarot open.