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Civil Lawsuit Filed Accusing Cover-Up In Deadly 2017 Hit & Run Near Overton Square

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - There are new developments in a deadly hit and run near Overton Square one year ago. Christopher Phillips’ parents have filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit. 

To be clear, Memphis Police have not arrested or charged anyone in this case, but attorneys who filed this civil lawsuit contend the driver, her brother, and several others, including an unnamed city of Memphis employee, covered up the deadly hit-and-run.

32-year-old Phillips died after being hit crossing Madison and Morrison near Overton Square in February 2017. A little more than a year later, his family is seeking justice through a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

The 19-page lawsuit contends Joanna Goodfellow was the driver who hit Phillips then slowed briefly before taking off from the scene at a high rate of speed. The suit also contends Joanna Goodfellow, her brother Jonathan, and five unnamed “John Does” devised a scheme to drive the car to a Memphis car lot in order to conceal the car.

The lawsuit says someone leaked to the Goodfellows that there were warrants before Memphis Police officers could execute them, which the lawsuit contends allows the defendants to hide the car elsewhere.

The lawsuit also argues one of the “John Does” is a city of Memphis employee, and that the defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy to unlawfully conceal and destroy physical evidence to impede the investigation.

A Memphis attorney not tied to the case told Local 24 its relatively common for civil wrongful death lawsuits to be filed before any criminal charges are filed.

For its part, the city of Memphis says it won't respond to such a unspecific allegation. We reached out to both the lead attorney and Phillips’ parents, but didn’t hear back.

Jonathan Goodfellow reached out Friday morning with a statement saying, "I am 100 percent completely innocent of these allegations." He sent a second statement adding, “I strongly Deny the allegations against me. They are all false statements against me. I would NEVER be involved with anything criminally.”


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