(CANTON, N.Y.) — Defense lawyers for a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old son called for a dismissal or mistrial as the second day of court began in upstate Canton, New York, Tuesday morning.
Lawyers for Oral “Nick” Hillary — a local father and a former college soccer coach — asked for the dismissal or mistrial based on a witness, Greg Brown, who claimed he saw John Jones, also an ex-boyfriend of the victim’s mother, on the street of the crime around the time of the murder. The defense claims that prosecutors withheld that witness from them.
Police have said surveillance video showing Jones near his home around the time of the murder eliminated him as a suspect.
The victim, Garrett Phillips, was found strangled to death in his mother Tandy Cyrus’ apartment in Potsdam, New York, in the afternoon of Oct. 24, 2011.
The popular, friendly and athletic golden-haired boy had just begun the sixth grade when his mysterious murder shocked the small town. From nearly day one, the spotlight of suspicion seemed focused on Hillary and he was charged with second-degree murder several years later.
Hillary, who has always insisted he is innocent, waived his right to a jury last week and the case then began this week as a bench trial. On Monday, the prosecution and defense teams gave opening statements, and then Garrett’s mother took the stand, tearfully recounting her son’s final day.
After the defense requested a dismissal or mistrial Tuesday, the judge said he needed more information before making a decision.
Prosecutors called the request “extreme” and said the alleged witness’ information was inaccurate.
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