Skip Navigation
Regional News
Yard signs like this have kept the Garrett Phillips case in the public eye.   Photo: Julie Grant
Yard signs like this have kept the Garrett Phillips case in the public eye. Photo: Julie Grant

Suspect arrested in murder of 12 year-old Potsdam boy

Listen to this story
Two and a half years after 12-year-old Garrett Phillips was found murdered in Potsdam, a suspect has been taken into custody. Potsdam police arrested Oral "Nick" Hillary, Clarkson University's soccer coach, Thursday afternoon. Hillary was charged with second degree murder after a sealed indictment was delivered to St. Lawrence County court. The suspect pleaded not guilty and is in county jail without bail.

Hear this

Download audio

Share this


Explore this

Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Oral "Nick" Hillary. Photo: St. Lawrence County Sheriff Department
Oral "Nick" Hillary. Photo: St. Lawrence County Sheriff Department
According to St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain, Hillary is accused of suffocating and strangling the boy at his home in October 2011.

The arrest comes after four days of closed-door testimony before a grand jury that began Monday. In a texted statement, Rain called it "an emotional week." She said Garrett Phillips' mother, Tandy Cyrus, and several family members, were present at the arraignment. Rain said the Potsdam police "did a great job in pressing the case forward."

Hillary was questioned in the initial investigation of the case, but never charged. He has sued the village of Potsdam and the police department for defamation, claiming leaks during the investigation negatively affected his reputation.

Hillary will appear before the court with his attorney to answer to the murder charge Friday at 10 am.

Visitor comments

on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.