Oral ‘Nick’ Hillary, also known as Coach Nicholas Hillary, was found not guilty in the murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips, ABC News is reporting. Dateline NBC has also been following the Potsdam, New York, murder case and will air their documentary this Friday in the episode titled, “The Accused.” This week’s episode title is appropriate since Nick Hillary, originally from Jamaica, had been accused, since 2011, of being responsible for the death of Garrett Phillips. On Dateline NBC, expect to hear from Potsdam law enforcement investigators and possibly family members who will speak on behalf of the victim. Viewers will have to tune in to see if a possible interview with Nicholas Hillary will be included.
The Garrett Phillips case came into the public’s awareness in October 2011. It was the week before Halloween, when a neighbor called 911, stating that she heard screams coming from Garrett Phillips’ home. Garrett was a 12-year-old boy who lived in the charming town of Potsdam with his mother.
When police arrived on the scene, they found Garrett Phillips unresponsive. Paramedics transported him to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiners determined through an autopsy that Garrett Phillips had died of suffocation or strangulation.
Potsdam investigators quickly zoomed in on Nicholas ‘Nick’ Hillary, a black college soccer coach at Clarkson University, which is a private university located in Potsdam. Behind the scenes, police detectives were building a case against Nick Hillary, who had been dating Garrett’s mother, Tandy Cyrus.
During the investigation, police learned that Tandy Cyrus had broken up with Nick Hillary and that Nick blamed Tandy’s son, Garrett, for the breakup, according to NBC News.
The case went unsolved until 2014 when police arrested and charged Oral Nick Hillary with the boy’s death. Since his arrest, Hillary has always stated that he was absolutely innocent and had nothing to do with Garrett Phillips’ death.
In fact, Nick Hillary had grown so indignant with the accusation and rumors against him that he sued the Potsdam village and the local police department for damaging his character and his reputation.
Upstate New York residents in Potsdam say that the town is split down the middle with those who believe in his guilt and those who believe that there was a serious rush to judgment in blaming Nicholas Hillary for the murder.
Residents say that Coach Nick Hillary stood out like a sore thumb because he was not a local and because he was black. Residents say that the town’s population is mostly white.
In 2016, Nick Hillary was found not guilty in the murder of Garrett Phillips. A judge stated that the case was mostly circumstantial and didn’t prove guilt without a doubt.
Timeline In The Case of Garrett Phillips And Nick Hillary
- October 2011 – Days before Halloween, Garrett Phillips is found unconscious after a neighbor reports hearing screams.
- May 2014 – Nick Hillary is arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
- September 2016 – Oral ‘Nick’ Hillary is found not guilty of the murder of Garrett Phillips.
Though now Hillary is a free man, some ask where the justice is for Garrett Phillips. His case is still unsolved. Daily Mail had the chance to speak with Garrett’s mother, Tandy Cyrus, who stated the following.
“He took my son. He took a big brother, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew.[[Garrett] was always happy and always willing to help other kids and other people. Never got to go to his sixth-grade graduation. Never got to have his driver’s license. No high school graduation. No girlfriend. No marriage. He took his whole life. I don’t know that there is a severe enough punishment. He still gets to live.”
Watch Dateline’s “The Accused” this Friday, September 30, at 9/8 p.m. Central on NBC. Last week, Inquisitr brought you the case of erotic fantasy killer Patrick Anthony Russo, which was also profiled on Dateline NBC.
[Featured Image by Jason Hunter, Watertown Daily Times, Pool/AP Images]