CEDAR CITY — The two suspects allegedly involved in the death of Stevie Shay Wilkerson have both been extradited from Southern California to Utah.
As previously reported by Cedar City News, Wilkerson, a 26-year-old St. George woman, was last seen Aug. 9 near the Claridge Inn on Bluff Street, and her body was later found Aug. 23 in a remote area of Iron County.
Joseph Edward “Joey” Fought, 30, and Brittany Elizabeth “Josie” Phillips, 27, were arrested Aug. 31 and were being held without bail at a San Bernardino County detention facility in California.
Following the extradition process, the two were transported Thursday to Cedar City and booked into the Iron County Jail.
Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said in a Sept. 15 news release the pair were apprehended by Barstow Police officers at a motel Aug. 31 and were interviewed by Iron County Sheriff’s deputies in California the following day.
Although the charges the pair face in Iron County are currently limited to felony possession of a stolen vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said on Sept. 15 that additional charges are pending, noting that the case is being treated an active homicide investigation.
According to a probable cause statement filed in Utah’s 5th District Court in support of their arrest, Phillips and Fought were seen in the St. George area in early August driving a white Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck that had been reported stolen from a rental company in Arkansas.
Surveillance video reportedly showed the vehicle being parked at hotels, restaurants and pawn shops in the area in the days leading up to Aug. 9. At that point, the statement says, Fought and Phillips transported Wilkerson and another female in the truck to Cedar City, where the other woman said Wilkerson was “removed from the truck and left near the city of Enterprise.”
“The deceased body of Stevie Wilkerson was later found on August 23rd in Iron County” near the location described by the other woman in the truck, the statement says; however, it doesn’t indicate whether Wilkerson was alive at the point she was left near Enterprise.
Both Fought and Phillips have extensive criminal histories that span multiple states.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office statement thanked the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Statewide Information and Analysis Center, along with the other law enforcement agencies involved, for their assistance.
“Our gratitude goes out to all agencies which have been working tirelessly to apprehend these two dangerous subjects,” the statement said. “Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Stevie Wilkerson.”
Fought and Phillips are both scheduled to make their initial court appearances Tuesday morning before Fifth District Court Judge Matthew L. Bell.
This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
Updated Sept. 25, 12:05 p.m. to include jail booking photos of both suspects and details about their extradition.
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