The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly.  This information; however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes. 


PHILLIPS, Galante (B/M)

DC#    J03479

DOB:  07/11/1979


­­­Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case #06-15566

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Mallory D. Cooper

Attorney, Trial: Francis Jerome Shea – Public Defender’s Office
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Registry – Frank J. Tassone, Jr.


Date of Offense:         10/18/05

Date of Sentence:        09/19/08


Circumstances of Offense:


Galante Romar Phillips was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Christopher Aligada on October 18, 2005.  Phillips was also convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon.


On the evening of October 18, 2005, Phillips entered the parking lot of the Builder’s First Source lumber yard with the intent to commit a robbery.  Sometime between 8:00 and 8:30 p.m., Phillips approached an employee of Builder’s First who had just finished with his shift and asked him if the shift was getting off.  The employee, Mr. Long, asked Phillips whom he was waiting for, but Phillips got annoyed and asked him again if the shift was getting off.  Mr. Long replied that, yes, the shift was getting off.  Mr. Long then got into his vehicle and left.


A few minutes later, between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m., Christopher Aligada and Wilbur Sweet finished working and headed towards their vehicles in the parking lot.  Mr. Sweet testified that he was cranking his truck with a screwdriver, and when he stepped back from the truck he saw a man, whom he later positively identified as Phillips, standing there with a gun.   Phillips pointed the gun at Mr. Sweet and demanded money.  At first, Mr. Sweet said he did not have any money.  But, in fact, Mr. Sweet had $3,100 with him that day, which he was going to use to purchase a car for his son.  When Phillips continued to point the gun at Mr. Sweet and demand money, Mr. Sweet put his hands up, and Phillips went into Mr. Sweet’s pocket and took his money and his wallet.


According to another employee who witnessed the events, when Phillips approached Mr. Sweet, Mr. Aligada began running towards them and yelling.  The employee then heard two gun shots and saw Mr. Aligada fall to the ground.  Mr. Sweet testified that as soon as Phillips removed the money from his pocket, Phillips turned and fired his gun two times.  When Mr. Sweet saw that Phillips had shot Mr. Aligada, Mr. Sweet ran off, and Phillips then shot at him.  Phillips then jumped in Mr. Sweet’s vehicle and drove off.


Officers testified that Mr. Sweet’s abandoned vehicle was found in the middle of the road about a block away from Builder’s First.   Testing of the vehicle revealed that DNA consistent with Phillip’s DNA was on the gearshift.  Further, a DNA analyst testified that the possibility of finding someone in the population who had the same DNA profile as that found on the gearshift was approximately one in 9.5 trillion African Americans.


A few weeks after the murder, Phillips admitted to his girlfriend, Katrina Joyce, that he robbed a man and shot someone who was trying to be a hero and stop the robbery.  She was also told that the shooting occurred in a parking lot. She decided not to contact the police department at first, but sometime in March 2006 she called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and identified Phillips as someone who may have committed a crime.  Ms. Joyce also agreed to meet with Phillips and allow the police to record the conversation.  Part of that recording, which was played for the jury at trial, related Phillips stating that he shot a person because “he interfered in something that didn’t concern him, he tried to play hero and prevent what was going on.” Joyce also asked what he got out of all of this and Phillips replied that he got some money, although he had to split it three ways and some of it got lost while he was running away.


Phillips also acknowledged to the police that he killed Mr. Aligada.  In a videotaped recording, which was played for the jury, Phillips related the details of the crime.  Throughout the interview, Phillips related several reasons for shooting Mr. Aligada.  He first said, “It was an accident.  He forced me.”  He also stated that he knew Mr. Aligada and that he had spoken to him a few weeks before about applying for a job at Builder’s First.  “But he put me in a situation to where I wanted to come out on top that I wouldn’t come out if I let him prevent me from getting away.  I’m on foot so I couldn’t let him stop me.  He put me in a situation,” he said.  Phillips reasoned that Mr. Aligada did not have to get out of his truck, but yet he rushed up on Phillips and tried to grab his gun.


Phillips further stated that, after the shooting he pulled away and went to a back road, but his getaway driver was gone.  Phillips found the driver eventually, and was dropped off at home.  Phillips said that he left town the next day and traveled to either Carolina or Georgia and that the gun he used was gone because he dismantled it and “spread it all over a state.”


After the videotape ended, the interviewing officer testified that neither the money nor the gun was ever recovered and that the detectives were never able to implicate any other accomplices to the crime.  The jury vote for the death penalty was (7-5).    


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:



Prior Prison History:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






5Y 0M 0D






2Y 0M 0D


GRAND THEFT,300 L/5,000




2Y 6M 0D



Trial Summary:


11/29/2006      Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:         Armed Robbery

04/09/2008      Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

04/23/2008      Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5

09/19/2008      Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death Sentence

                                    Count II:         Robbery Gun/Deadly Weapon –Sentenced to Life



Current Prison Sentence History:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length
















Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal


So. 3d 2010 WL 1904537


10/06/08          Appeal filed

05/13/10          Convictions and Sentences Affirmed
05/24/10          Motion for Rehearing

07/09/10          Rehearing Denied

07/26/10          Mandate


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 10-6158


08/25/10          Petition filed

11/01/10          Petition denied



Case Information:


On 10/06/08, Phillips filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  The following issues were raised: the trial court erred in finding and instructing the jury on the avoid-arrest aggravator, the trial court erred in instructing the jury during the penalty phase, the death sentence is not proportionate, the trial court erred in not striking the jury panel or granting a new trial after some jurors observed Phillips wearing shackles, handcuffs, and a jail uniform, and whether the evidence was sufficient to sustain Phillip’s conviction.  On 05/13/19 the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of the lower court.  A motion for rehearing was submitted on 05/24/10.  This motion was denied on 07/09/10.   On 07/26/10, the Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate.  On 08/25/10, Phillips filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.  This petition was denied on 11/01/10.




Report Date:   06/01/10          CAR

Updated:         04/18/11          CAR