Son of arrested Smith County clerk forcibly removed from commissioners court meeting

Lance Phillips arrested for disrupting meeting
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:42 AM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 10:52 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A man had to be forcibly removed and handcuffed during Tuesday’s meeting of the Smith County Commissioners Court.

Lance Phillips, son of recently arrested Smith County Clerk Karen Phillips and Pct. 3 Commissioner Terry Phillips, was the man removed from the courtroom.

Phillips returned to commissioners court this week following an attempt last week to speak on the recent arrest of his brother and mother. While Phillips signed up to speak at this week’s meeting on another agenda item, he never made it to the podium.

Phillips returned to commissioners court this week following an attempt last week to speak on his brother and mother’s recent arrest.

During another citizen’s public comments, Smith County Judge Neal Franklin stated the citizen’s comments were not relevant to an agenda item, as required. The citizen also directly addressed Sheriff Larry Smith, which Franklin said was against the court’s rules. At this point, Lance Phillips began shouting “let her speak” from the crowd. This followed an earlier incident in which Phillips was asked by a deputy to lower his voice before the meeting.

Sheriff Larry Smith could be seen telling deputies that Phillips needed to be removed for breaking decorum. Phillips then refused to comply with a deputy’s orders and retreated to the end of a row of seating. Deputies then picked Phillips up by his arms and carried him out. He was then handcuffed and placed in a patrol cruiser.

Smith County Jail records show Phillips was charged with disrupting a meeting or procession. He has since been released on a $500 surety bond.

Lance Phillips' booking mugshot.
Lance Phillips' booking mugshot.(Smith County Jail)

Lance Phillips is the brother of Derek Phillips, whose arrest Karen Phillips is accused of interfering with on March 28. Both Terry and Karen Phillips were at Tuesday’s meeting.

Watch video for comments from Commissioner Terry Phillips, County Judge Neal Franklin, and Sheriff Larry Smith