Soccer coach charged in 12-year-old boy’s slaying

MGN Online
MGN Online

POTSDAM, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities have charged a college soccer coach with suffocating and strangling a 12-year-old northern New York boy nearly three years ago.

Police say 39-year-old Oral “Nick” Hillary, the men’s soccer coach at Clarkson University, was arrested Thursday at his home in the village of Potsdam. He is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Garrett Phillips.

The boy was found unconscious inside his home after neighbors heard screams and cries for help on Oct. 24, 2011. He was pronounced dead that evening at a hospital. Officials say he had been strangled and suffocated with a pillow.

Hillary is being held without bail in the county jail. A message left with his lawyer wasn’t immediately returned.

Officials at Clarkson University, a Division III school in Potsdam, say Hillary is on administrative leave.

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