Hillary's $150,000 bond accepted; accused killer of Potsdam boy is free on bail
Friday, July 25, 2014 - 2:58 pm

CANTON – Oral “Nick” Hillary is free after more than two months of hearings into his bail.

St. Lawrence County Court Judge Jerome Richards signed the order setting bail at $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond for the accused killer of a Potsdam boy. The bond was offered for bail.

Richards, who presided over this morning’s hearing, set several conditions on Hillary’s release.

Hillary, accused in the strangulation death of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips in his mother’s Potsdam apartment in October 2011, is subject to supervision by the county Probation Department and will report to a probation officer. He will submit to drug tests. His passport and enhanced driver’s license, if any, are to be surrendered to the court. He is not to leave the county without the court’s permission.

Hillary is not permitted to buy, have or consume alcohol or any illicit drugs, including marijuana. He cannot go to any establishment that serves alcohol on the premises. He is to abide by any orders of protection in effect. He is not to violate any state, federal or local laws. He is to abide by direction by the Probation Department.

Violation of any of these conditions can result in revocation of bail.

Hillary, a graduate of St. Lawrence University and former soccer coach at Clarkson University, was indicted and arrested in May on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of the popular Potsdam middle school student.

He was named early in the investigation by Potsdam police as a person of interest, the only person so identified, which is in part the basis of a civil lawsuit against the village and the police department.

Bail has been in question since his first application in May. There was wrangling between county DA Mary Rain and Hillary’s counsel over the value of the real estate Hillary wanted to back up a bail bond, and over the credentials of the bail company and the bail representative he was using.

Judge Richards today cleared away those objections and granted Hillary release directly from court this morning.