October 16, 2014

POTSDAM, N.Y. (AP) A judge has dismissed a murder charge against a former college soccer coach accused of strangling and smothering his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son in northern New York.

Oral ''Nick'' Hillary, former head soccer coach at Clarkson University, was accused of killing Garrett Phillips in the boy's home Oct. 24, 2011. St. Lawrence County Judge Jerome Richards dismissed the murder indictment against Hillary on Thursday, citing what he called ''circumstantial evidence'' and other problems with the grand jury presentation.

In a decision reported by the Watertown Daily Times (http://bit.ly/1CrxIia), the judge criticized District Attorney Mary Rain's handling of the case.

The prosecutor did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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