New York

NY judge to rule in murder case against former soccer coach

  • FILE - In a Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, college soccer coach Oral "Nick" Hillary listens as his defense team answers questions from the media after closing arguments in his murder trial, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary was found not guilty of murder charges Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, by Judge Felix Catena.  He had been accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son in 2011. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP, Pool, File)

    FILE - In a Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 file photo, college soccer coach Oral "Nick" Hillary listens as his defense team answers questions from the media after closing arguments in his murder trial, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary was found not guilty of murder charges Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, by Judge Felix Catena. He had been accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son in 2011. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oral "Nick" Hillary smiles during a news conference after being acquitted of murder charges on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary, who was accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son, was found not guilty by a judge. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP)

    Oral "Nick" Hillary smiles during a news conference after being acquitted of murder charges on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary, who was accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son, was found not guilty by a judge. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Oral "Nick" Hillary, right, stands outside the St. Lawrence County Courthouse with his attorney Earl Ward after being acquitted of murder charges on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary, who was accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son, has been found not guilty by a judge. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP)

    Oral "Nick" Hillary, right, stands outside the St. Lawrence County Courthouse with his attorney Earl Ward after being acquitted of murder charges on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Canton, N.Y. Hillary, who was accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son, has been found not guilty by a judge. (Brit Hanson/North Country Public Radio via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A judge in northern New York is scheduled to announce his verdict in the murder case against a black former college soccer coach accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son.

Judge Felix Catena will decide Wednesday if the largely circumstantial evidence presented by prosecutors is enough to convict Oral "Nick" Hillary of second-degree murder in the killing of Garrett Phillips. The boy was choked to death in an apartment in Potsdam, a college town near the Canadian border, in 2011.

Hillary's lawyers argued the case is "riddled with doubt" and repeated the claims of critics who said authorities in the largely white community unjustly prosecuted him.

Hillary was the head soccer coach at Clarkson University. He and his daughter had lived with Garrett's mother until the relationship ended in summer 2011.