CANTON, N.Y. – 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.