And the moron’s mother is now blaming his pal for getting the fuck out of dodge and letting her precious son die.
Joe Phillips and his 13-year-old friend entered a tire recycling complex in Lockport, New York, in August 2016 and ignited some paper before the flames quickly spread out of control.
The 13-year-old ran outside to get water while Phillips used his shirt to try to tamp down the blaze, according to defense attorney A. Angelo DiMillo.
As the fire spread, Phillips called his friend in a panic, and said: ‘I’m really stuck, dude, I’m (expletive). I’m (expletive) going to die.’
Then panting, with resignation in his voice, ‘Sorry, dude. I love you, man,’ the call ended. ‘I never thought I’d die this way.’
On Tuesday, the surviving teen, now 14, will learn his fate in Family Court.
He could be sentenced to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility after pleading guilty in March to arson and burglary as part of a deal that erased a charge of criminally negligent homicide in his friend’s death.
The boy, whose name has not been released because of his age, has been in and out of the hospital with mental health issues and has tried to harm himself, a probation officer testified this month.
Phillips’ mother, Ann Phillips, won’t say what punishment she thinks the surviving teenager, who never called 911, deserves. Reached by phone, she said she wants to keep her feelings private until after the hearing.
The mother believes her son’s friend ignored his last phone call and told WIVB: ‘He saw Joe in that burning building, he knew it was burning, he ran out.
‘You can’t tell me that you didn’t get that phone call until later, that you didn’t know. You did know. And you left them there.’
On August 10, 2016, the fire at High Tread International filled the sky with thick black smoke. It burned for three days, and fire crews had to use water from the nearby Erie Canal to douse the flames. About 200 homes were evacuated.
The fire burned through 15 acres of property, and cost more than $13million in damages, according to Niagara County attorney John Sansone.
Phillips’ family feared he’d been trapped by the fire but held out hope the boy who was just weeks away from beginning high school had made it to safety.
‘He might be scared and he’s hiding to avoid getting into trouble,’ his older sister Alyssa Phillips wrote on Facebook as the fire burned for the second of three days.
‘Until I see his dead body, I will keep believing he’s alive,’ Alyssa wrote, before firefighters found Joe’s body on August 13.
Along with the phone message played in court earlier this year, video found on the surviving teen’s phone offered a view into the building that day.