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November 07, 2017

GoFundMe helps kids of N.J. woman killed in boyfriend's alleged hammer attack

Arrests Homicide
110717_EHTHammer Source/Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office

Lashawn Smith, 36, is charged with murder and related offenses in the death of 28-year-old Sarah Phillips.

An Egg Harbor Township man is facing homicide charges after investigators alleged he repeatedly struck his girlfriend with a hammer at their residence Friday morning.

Sarah Phillips, a 28-year-old mother of four, was found dead inside her home at 4 S. Zion Road after police responded to a 911 call during the early morning hours.

Following an investigation, Atlantic County prosecutors charged Lashawn Smith, 36, with first-degree murder and related weapons offenses in Phillips' death. Officials said Smith allegedly struck Phillips multiple times with the hammer.

Smith appeared in Mays Landing for a first court appearance on Saturday.

In the days after the Phillps' death, family members set up a GoFundMe page to help the four children transition into a new home with their grandmother.

"She was a daughter, sister, cousin, friend and most importantly a mother to 4 beautiful children," the family said in a statement. "In her honor, we are starting this page to give her children – Angelina, Christina, Shaun and Gary – the best possible outcome in a horrific situation."