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Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall examines murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips

Garrett Phillips in family photo
Garrett Phillips was strangled in his own home minutes after coming back from skateboarding

This week Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall examines the unsolved murder of Garrett Phillips, a boy killed just minutes after arriving home.

Potsdam, NY, in 2011 and 12-year-old Garrett Phillips, is caught on CCTV skateboarding home. It’s the last time he’ll be seen alive and soon after neighbors call the cops after hearing screams.

They arrived to find him on the floor, having been strangled and suffocated. He was rushed to hospital but died later that evening

Suspicion immediately falls on the ex-boyfriend of the boy’s mother. Jamaican-born soccer coach Nick Hillary, who’d been living with Phillips’s mother Tandy before they split. Some people said it was the conflict between Hillary and his partner’s son that led to the split.

However, he had an alibi and also claimed to have no motive to kill the boy. There was no DNA evidence pointing to him and the DA actually refused to take on the case. It was only when they were voted out and another was elected on the promise of pursuing the case that the trial went ahead.

Unusually Hillary’s defense decided to forgo a jury trial and go straight to the judge, in what is known as a bench trial. The judged examined the evidence over a week and came back with a not guilty verdict. He said the prosecution had failed to prove that its circumstantial evidence proved beyond reasonable doubt that Hillary killed Phillips.

The murder of Garrett Phillips remains unsolved.

Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall airs on Sundays at 10:00 PM on Investigation Discovery.


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