Man charged in drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old boy rejects plea deal, headed to trial

Jury selection began Wednesday in Quentin Phillips’ trial

SAN ANTONIO – A man charged in the deadly shooting of a 4-year-old boy in 2017 is heading to trial.

Quentin Phillips was one of four charged in the murder of De’Earlvion Whitley on July 19, 2017.

Gunmen fired 65 shots into the family’s home, killing De’Earlvion and injuring his mother.

De’Earlvion Whitley

Although the shooting was linked to gang violence amid a turf war, no one was charged with De’Earlvion’s death until 2020.

In court Friday, Phillips rejected a 40-year plea deal offered by the District Attorney’s Office, and 437th District Court Judge Joel Perez ordered jury selection for a trial to begin on Dec. 5.

Phillips, along with Terrell Chase and John Chatmon, have been charged with murder and felon in possession of a firearm.

Two other men had previously been charged in the case, but they have since had their murder charges dismissed.

Chase was found guilty in the case involving the felon in possession of a firearm charge and sentenced to life in prison earlier this year. That sentence is currently being appealed.

Phillips is the first of the men to go to trial on the murder charge. If found guilty, he faces up to life in prison.

About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.