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Lawyer: Coach accused of killing boy was ‘demonized’

September 22, 2016 GMT

CANTON, N.Y. (AP) — A defense lawyer says prosecutors are trying to “demonize” a former college soccer coach accused of killing his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old son.

A lawyer for Oral “Nick” Hillary made the charge during closing arguments Thursday at the murder trial in St. Lawrence County Court. Hillary is accused of killing Garrett Phillips in 2011 in an apartment in Potsdam in northern New York.

Prosecutors presented a largely circumstantial case because they lacked physical evidence like fingerprints or DNA. They claim Hillary killed the boy he blamed for the breakup with his mother.

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Prosecutors are expected to present arguments Thursday afternoon

Hillary’s supporters have accused authorities in this largely white community of unjustly prosecuting a black man.

A judge heard the case without a jury. He’s expected to make a decision next week.

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