Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

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Normal Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Nama on Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:38 pm

Time for Nick to face the ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫♪♫.


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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by laga on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:23 pm

I AM DANCING, I AM CRYING, I AM SENDING HUGS FOR CORY AND YES, I AM SHOUTING HALLELUJAH!!!!

Finally, justice has begun! Bless you Chief Dannels and all those in LE who have worked to bring this about.

I can only imagine how Cory must feel...this is great news..but it must also magnify the pain she has suffered for so long. BlowKisses Big Hug

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Normal Coos County grand jury indicts boyfriend in 10-year-old Leah Freeman murder

Post by Nama on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:39 pm


Cory Courtright places her hand on the urn that holds the ashes of her murdered daughter, Leah Freeman. On the wall is a photo of Leah, who was killed 10 years ago in June, at her last school prom.

A Coos County grand jury has indicted a man in the 10-year-old cold case of Leah Freeman, found murdered in June 2000.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said Nicholas McGuffin, 28, was arrested Monday afternoon on charges of murder and lodged in the Coos County Jail on $2 million bail. McGuffin was Freeman's boyfriend at the time she disappeared and has long been a suspect in the case.

"I am so thrilled," said Cory Courtright , Freeman's mother, Monday afternoon. "Oh my God, I am so thrilled. I know there is a long trial ahead of me. I don't care. I always said I was going to see this through to the end and I will."

Freeman was last seen on June 28, 2000, after leaving a girlfriend's house at about 9 p.m. to walk home. Several people would see the 5-feet-2, 80-plus pound Freeman striding up Central Avenue. But Freeman, who had spent the afternoon with McGuffin and his friend Brent Bartley , 20, never made it home.

Shortly after Freeman left her friends' house, McGuffin showed up looking for her and told police he continued looking for her through most of the night into the wee hours of the next morning.

McGuffin was stopped twice that night by the local police for a missing headlight. Police say at one point he swapped his '67 Ford Mustang for his parent's 1991 Ford Thunderbird, and then again for the Mustang. But the family has denied that.

One of Freeman's Nike shoes was found by the local cemetery the night she went missing. The second shoe, splattered with blood, turned up a week or so later far out of town on a dirt road.

Then, roughly five weeks after she disappeared, county detectives found Freeman's body down a steep, dense embankment about nine miles out of town.

Although police obtained search warrants for McGuffin's cars and questioned both McGuffin and Bartley at length, the case went cold. Then, about two years ago, new police chief Mark Dannels put together a team of detectives to re-examine it.

In June, Frasier announced he was ready to seek the indictment.

"In the very beginning, I didn't believe it was him," said Courtright of McGuffin. "I didn't want to. I don't like believing the fact that he did this. And I know that hasn't been proven yet. But I've got to get this girl her justice. This was my child. She deserves it."

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:55 pm

Cory, I wish I could just reach out and hug you!! This is the best news. Words cannot express the relief and happiness we all feel for you! pole dancer :trampoline: peace

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:58 pm

"In the very beginning, I didn't believe it was him," said Courtright of McGuffin. "I didn't want to. I don't like believing the fact that he did this. And I know that hasn't been proven yet. But I've got to get this girl her justice. This was my child. She deserves it."
Said by the most humble woman I know.
Big Hug

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by adelacruz on Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:21 pm

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this link has a recent pic of Nick

y Sean Schoppe

Coquille, Ore. -- New developments in the 10-year cold case surrounding the murder of Leah Freeman were announced Monday.

The teen's boyfriend at the time is now behind bars.

Freeman went missing in June 2000. Her body was discovered later that year, but her killer was never caught.

A Coos County jury indicted Nicholas James McGuffin and charged him with her death.

Early Monday afternoon, a grand jury returned an indictment against the now 28-year-old McGuffin on a charge of murder. McGuffin and a friend were the last people on record to have seen Freeman. They were never charged though.

The indictment alleges that McGuffin intentionally caused Freeman's death around the date of June 28th, 2000. Freeman was 15 years old.

McGuffin was arrested around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon without incident and is currently lodged at the Coos County jail on $2 million security.

Freeman was last seen walking along Central Avenue in Coos Bay, heading home from a friend's house.

The only clue police found that night was one of Freeman's shoes at a nearby cemetery. A week later, her other shoe was found splattered with blood on a dirt road outside of town.

Then in early August, investigators find Freeman's body nine miles outside of town on a steep embankment off a country road.

Initially, police were looking at her then 18-year-old boyfriend Nicholas McGriffin and his 20-year-old friend Brent Bartley. Neither were charged, and the case went cold.

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Normal video on this link

Post by Nama on Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:37 pm

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by charminglane on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:00 pm

I sure hope that whole family gets thrown in the lock up.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by jeanne1807 on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:00 pm

Bless you Cory. What a long time to wait for justice for your beautiful daughter.

Justice is sometimes slow but it is swift.


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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:04 pm

WOW!!! Cory, you are just beautiful with your red hair! I could feel your pain so hard in that video.

We are all looking forward to the press conference. I hope we can get it live. I know BJ is doing her thing and if so, she will make it happen. Couple Hugging

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by adelacruz on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:09 pm

no live feed anywhere??

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Nama on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:36 pm

Can't find a live feed or even a tape. head bang
I'm sure Cory will back later with some news.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:40 pm

WTH????? Oh well...at least we know Nick is FINALLY locked up. That is the main thing. :cheers:

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by mommyof3kids on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:46 pm

Coos County has no live press conferences crazy3 head bang They need to get with the program!!!

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:12 pm

I am not surprised. They are small but we will eventually get the feed from the press, correct???

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by mommyof3kids on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:44 pm

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here is a link to a nice article. Still not finding the live confernce.. ERRR

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:52 pm

Mommy, when I clicked on the above link, the video (no article) was about "combustible trash". Now, I know it's your birthday and all but can I have some of what you're drinking? This description fits Nick to a tee!!!! :woot:

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:57 pm

I haven't been posting for a while, but have to say the press coverage on the arrest of Nick McGuffin today is just becoming to come in. I consistently update the Facebook page with links to most of the coverage at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and invite you all to go to that site for the latest news in the case.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:59 pm

Word has it that Nick will be arraigned tomorrow.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:09 am

crazy3 LMBO!! I swear it was a video, let me look into it! I did have a margarita but am NOT impaired which is more scary :lol!: wine drinker drunk ROFLMAO

UPDATE: It's on that news channel's front page, but you have to wait for it to come up since they have several front page stories and Leah's isn't on first head bang

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:18 am

Okey dokey!!!!!! What is up with the Oregon networks? Or at least that one.crazy3 Couple Hugging chug

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by TerryRose on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:26 am

mommyof3kids wrote: crazy3 LMBO!! I swear it was a video, let me look into it! I did have a margarita but am NOT impaired which is more scary :lol!: wine drinker drunk ROFLMAO

UPDATE: It's on that news channel's front page, but you have to wait for it to come up since they have several front page stories and Leah's isn't on first head bang
Thanks for the tip---you DO have to wait a looooonnnng time for it to load. No updates at the end as promised on the news conference, however.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:31 am

On the other Leah thread, Michelle_Ellis is posting to go to Leah's FB page for updates.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:34 am

According to news released at the press conference tonight Nick will be arraigned tomorrow. I do not have information on the time yet/

The press coverage on the arrest is just becoming to come in - there is going to be a lot! I consistently update the Facebook page with links to most of the coverage at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and invite you all to go to that site for the latest news in the case.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:40 am

Thank you, Michelle. It's good to see you here - especially under these wonderful circumstances. I would hope that Nick's accomplices are also arrested as was reported by LE. But, this is fantastic.

I doubt his bond will be dropped by much...if at all. I would think he would be a flight risk.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:40 am

I texted Cory, she said the press conference was good. She is exhausted, as she should be! This is just so WONDERFUL! I can't stop thinking about it!!!

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:44 am

Police make arrest in 2000 homicide
Posted: Monday, August 23, 2010 5:01 pm

Coquille police arrested the former boyfriend of Leah Freeman today in connection with the 15-year-old's 2000 homicide.

Coquille Police Chief Mark Dannels said officers took Nicholas James McGuffin into custody at about 2:15 p.m. near Greenacres with assistance from other local agencies.

Leah's mother, Cory Courtright, 54, said McGuffin and her daughter had dated for about eight months before the girl disappeared in June of that year. Her body was discovered about a month later down a steep embankment off a country road.

Although Courtright said she's in shock about the arrest - more than 10 years after Leah's death - she's had her suspicions about McGuffin.

"I've thought that for quite a few years now ... that Nick was the one that did this," Courtright said.

"I just hope my family can one day get closure on this."

According to a statement from the Coos County District Attorney's Office, a Coos County Grand Jury returned an indictment against McGuffin on one charge of murder earlier this afternoon.

The indictment alleges McGuffin intentionally caused Leah's death on or about June 28, 2000.

Leah was last seen at 9 o'clock that night, walking on Central Avenue where McGuffin was scheduled to pick her up.

By 3:30 a.m., Courtright realized she hadn't returned home. She reported her daughter missing, but the Coquille Police Department initially treated the case as a runaway incident.

That changed on July 3, when someone found the girl's bloody shoe in a cemetery near Coquille High School.

Her other blood-spattered shoe was found on a dirt road out of town before her body was discovered.

Dannels and Frasier reopened the cold case in January. Earlier this summer, Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier said he planned to meet with a grand jury once or twice a week to review the facts.

McGuffin has been lodged at the Coos County jail on $2 million bail.

His mother, Kathleen McGuffin, declined to speak about the case to The World.

6:41 p.m., Update: The World reported that McGuffin and Maegan Edgerton had a daughter, Violet Marie McGuffin, at Bay Area Hospital on Oct. 11, 2007.

It is unknown if the two are still together.

Denise Edgerton, Maegan's mother, declined to speak to The World Monday evening.

A press conference will be held at 7 p.m. at the Owen Building on the corner of Second Street and Adams Street in Coquille.

Look for more updates online and read more in Tuesday's edition of The World.

Copyright 2010 The World. All rights reserved.
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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:46 am

How can any of us??? It's almost surreal!! Waiting for the press conference to air. :crystal ball:

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:53 am

This waiting is killing me - wish I would have been at the press conference in person and could be at the arraignment tomorrow in person!

Cory - get a good night's sleep, you are going to be bombarded by the press for the next couple of days for sure.

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Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:58 am

Just got word from Cory that the arraignment is scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow. Can't wait - although we all know Nick will claim innocence.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:59 am

Michelle beat me! You Rock Girlfriend you rock peace Cory says all news outlets were there!!!! I'm waiting for the 10 O clock news any second now!!

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Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:05 am

All local news outlets - wait for the Portland stations to head down! :celebration: Plus the Oregonian and Register-Guard weren't able to be in attendance, but I'm hoping they will be tomorrow.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:06 am

YAY Fox 12 has it on right now, but nothing on the news conference!!!

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:11 am

New thread in the Lounge for comments on Nick's arrest.

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Normal Police present details of indictment and arrest of Nicholas McGuffin

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:21 am



Long suspected in the murder of Leah Freeman, Coquille PD Sgt Pat Smith and Officer Ray McNeely arrested Nicholas McGuffin today at his home in Green Acres. The grand jury voted to indict McGuffin after hearing evidence and testimony from more than 100 witnesses. Bail has been set at $2M.

McGuffin, according to DA Paul Fraser, has never married but is the father of little girl and works as a chef at The Mill Casino. Trial will probably be late next year or early 2012.

The room was packed with well wishers and media. Not present were former Coquille PD Chief, Mike Reaves nor City Manager, Terence O’Connor (that I could see anyway).

Kudos again to Coquille PD for resurrecting this long dormant case, having the vision to work with other law enforcement agencies and hopefully bringing some peace to the Freeman family.

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:23 am

Michelle_Ellis said:
Plus the Oregonian and Register-Guard weren't able to be in attendance,
I don't get it. This is major Breaking News!!! Are these media outlet's short-staffed or what?

I realize they are quite adept at covering the Kyron Horman missing child and I understand that, but Leah's story is something you just don't hear about everyday. It deserves as much, if not more press coverage today of all days, than any other case.

Now stepping off soap box

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:26 am

Thanks, Bonnie...for the update and pics. Now waiting for video!!!!

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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:51 am

It's going to be a LONG night. I am now wondering what portland news channel to watch??

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Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:59 am

You all have an awesome night. Mommy, I hope you had a great birthday! I bet tomorrow, there will be more articles than we can read. Michelle is correct. Cory will be very busy w/media.

Cory, if you read this..please try to take some time to yourself to gather your thoughts. I know you probably haven't had a minute alone. You're strong and now you have your justice!! I am so happy for you and Leah! Big Hug

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Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:13 am

YES Koin 6 had Cory on there. Cory, your hair is ADORABLE!!

Wrap, yes I am sure tomorrow will have much more news. You go to bed and get sleep too. As for me, I am too excited to sleep. I got the BEST Birthday present ever! This news is music to my ears. I did get home tonight to a wonderful mexican dinner, margarita, Birthday card from kids and a cake made specially from my step-sister! It has been the best day EVER!!! :cheering: chug peace Dancing BlowKisses

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:34 am

I also want to send my congratulations to Cory for this wonderful news!! I do believe that God answers prayer, and sometimes it does seem to take awhile... but I know that you never gave up hope!

I pray that in the coming days, weeks, and months you will continue to find strength & encouragement... God bless you! Big Hug

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:38 am

Rainbow, I love your signature!! It REALLY is most fitting today. :heart:

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Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!

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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:40 am

KCBY-TV reports on Monday night's press conference, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Normal KCBY TV video on this link

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:44 am

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Normal 10 years later, a murder arrest A decade after 15-year-old Leah Freeman’s death, her high school beau is charged with murder

Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:14 am

Great piece by The Register-Guard
On July 28, 2000, Coquille Police executed a search warrant at the home of Nicholas James McGuffin, the 18-year-old boyfriend of Leah Freeman, a 15-year-old who had gone missing a month before.

They took mouth swabs, hair samples, rolls of 35mm film, a stained white sock, a woman’s sweatshirt, two baseball bats, and an assortment of miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, according to the affidavit.

The cops had searched McGuffin’s 1967 Mustang three weeks earlier, seizing a piece of duct tape and two rolls of film. What police didn’t find: no liner, no spare tire, no jack and no tire iron in the trunk of the car.

McGuffin’s father, Bruce McGuffin, explained that the items had been removed from the trunk “as the car was in need of repair,” according to an affidavit for the search warrant filed with the Coos County courts.

Over the next 10 years, McGuffin’s son graduated from culinary school at Southwestern Oregon Community College, got a job as an executive chef at The Mill Casino and fathered a child with a longtime girlfriend.

The girl’s mother spent that time fighting for justice. On Monday, Cory Courtwright got the news she’s been begging for for a decade: an arrest, in the 2000 murder of her daughter. McGuffin, whom Courtwright had long suspected, was indicted by a Coos County grand jury.

No plea entered yet

He has been convicted of nothing; he hasn’t even had the opportunity to enter a plea. But Courtwright was ecstatic at the news, nontheless.

“Hallelujah,” she said after learning of the arrest. “I waited 10 years for this, and I’m speechless. I’m shocked.”

Courtwright has never abandoned the search for her daughter’s killer, holding candlelight vigils, writing letters to the editor, posting documents unsealed once the case went cold on her Website, titled “Justice for Leah.”

She has often criticized police for letting the ball drop on the case. But the town’s new chief, Mark Dannels, took a new look at Freeman’s disappearance when he took the job two years ago, and now there are results.

McGuffin, now 28, was taken into custody without incident and jailed on a $2 million bond Monday, on suspicion of the murder of Freeman, who disappeared on June 28, 2000, after leaving a friend’s house. McGuffin, who has no prior felony convictions in Oregon but was convicted of misdemeanor criminal trespass in 2003, has an arraignment scheduled for 1 p.m. today in Coquille.

Police found Leah’s body five weeks after her disappearance, in a forested area about 10 miles east of Coquille, 10 to 15 feet down an embankment. Autopsy results showed that she died of “homicidal violence,” but authorities were never more specific than that.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said at a press conference Monday night that the arrest came after a grand jury met on seven separate occasions to hear the testimony of 113 witnesses, more than Frasier had ever called before in any proceeding.

He didn’t provide details about what led to the homicide charge, except to say that several citizens had come forward with new information in the last few weeks and that a cold case squad, announced earlier this year, had re-examined several pieces of evidence from 2000.

McGuffin, whose Eugene attorney, Bob McCrea, could not be reached for comment Monday night, was a suspect back then, too.

Story concerned chief

In a search warrant affidavit filed in July 2000 by Coquille Police, and available now online, officer Dave Hall wrote that Leah had been with McGuffin at the Courtwright home on the night of her disappearance, and that they left together.

McGuffin said as much in an interview with police, Hall wrote, adding that they went to pick up a friend, Brent Bartley. They then went to McGuffin’s house to get some videos, he said, and then to Bartley’s grandparents’ house, to watch them. McGuffin said he dropped Leah off at a friend’s house and hadn’t seen her since. The friend’s mother said Leah left that house at 9 p.m. on foot.

McGuffin later told Police Chief Michael Reaves he went to pick up Leah at the friend’s house and upon learning she wasn’t there any longer, drove around town trying to find her. He said he didn’t find her.

The chief was concerned about McGuffin’s account, he said.

“The first was McGuffin’s claim that he drove up and down Central looking for Leah and his claim that he did not see her, when in fact several persons saw her walking on Central at the same time he claimed to be looking for her,” according to the affidavit. “The second was the fact that in all the time that McGuffin claimed he was looking for Leah ... that he never physically went to Leah’s house to see if she was home, even though he had to have been close by on several occasions.”

Teacher had concerns

Police later interviewed a teacher at Coquille High School, Sharon Nelson, who reported that she observed “that there appeared to be physical abuse in the relationship” between Freeman and McGuffin, and that the boy “did have a flash temper.”

On July 5, McGuffin was interviewed a second time by police, and offered to take a polygraph. McGuffin was asked three pertinent questions: whether he physically did something that resulted in Leah’s death, whether he had any direct involvement in her disappearance, and whether he’d talked to Leah since 9 p.m. on the date she went missing.

To all three questions, McGuffin answered “No.” In all three answers, it was the opinion of Oregon State Police Detective Mark Ranger, who administered the exam, “McGuffin was not being truthful.”

When told he’d flunked the lie detector, McGuffin’s demeanor went from cooperative and non-confrontational to “angry.”

Mutual friend questioned

Hall wrote that he believed Freeman “has been the victim of some sort of violence at the hand of Nicholas James McGuffin and that he then transported Leah Freeman in his vehicle to an unknown location.”

Bartley also took a polygraph test, and passed the questions regarding whether he was directly involved in Freeman’s death, but “found to be deceptive on the questions regarding whether anyone told him they were responsible for Leah’s disappearance and whether he was concealing critical information regarding Leah’s disappearance.”

Frasier offered Bartley immunity in exchange for information about Freeman’s whereabouts, cautioning that there’d be no deal for any direct involvement he had in her disappearance.

From there, the case went cold. Until Monday.

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Thank you, Michelle_Ellis..for posting this. ~wrap~

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Normal Arrest made a decade later in Coquille murder case

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:54 am



Leah Freeman vanished while walking home from a friend’s house in Coos County 10 years ago and was discovered murdered weeks later. Everyone thought they knew who did it, but no one was ever arrested until Monday.

Even though police said the case was cold, Freeman’s family vowed to find her killer.

Now a decade later, police say they have the killer, her then 18-year-old boyfriend, Nicholas McGuffin, in jail.

When Freeman disappeared during the summer of 2000, police assumed the 15-year-old ran away. But not her mom, Cory Courtright.

“If anybody knows where she is, can you please come forward?” Courtright said at the time.

Days after Freeman vanished, her shoe was found splattered with blood. Then weeks later, her decomposed body was found down a steep hill, tossed from an isolated road nine miles out of town.

Investigators say at the time only circumstantial evidence pointed at McGuffin. Search warrants were issued and polygraphs were taken, which according to court documents, McGuffin failed.

A grand jury investigated the case and immunity was offered to a friend, but McGuffin was never officially named a suspect.

Then last year, under immense community pressure, a new police chief reopened the unsolved mystery and dedicated an entire room and team to Freeman’s case.

Now ten years later, Freeman’s mother is closer to knowing the truth.

“It was like, ‘finally,’ said Courtright. “I think they got the right guy.”

“I’m a little bit relieved, I guess, that we have the indictment, but I also realize it’s just the first step in the process, and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said R. Paul Frasier, Coos County district attorney.

“It’s a great feeling the fact that we got to this level of the criminal justice system,” said Coquille Police Chief Mark Dannels. “Now we strive for the trial.”

Testimony from more than 100 witnesses at eight grand jury hearings led to Monday’s arrest. How Freeman died, and any other details, have not been released.

For Bruce McCain, a former Multnomah County sheriff’s captain, Freeman’s case brings up a good point about the unsolved case of missing 7-year-old Kyron Horman.

“He (McGuffin) was not indicted or arrested on the basis of failing two or three polygraph questions ten years ago,” McCain said. “There’s obviously going to be something much more substantial.

“If there’s any lesson to be learned here (is) that even murder cases can sometimes take years and decades to solve,” he said. “And with the Kyron Horman case, we don’t even have a body. We don’t even know what the crime is.”

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Normal Video: Leah Freeman's Family and Friends React to McGuffin's Arrest

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:59 am

VIDEO ON THIS LINK

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The arrest of Nick McGuffin for the alleged murder of Leah Freeman has spawned intense reactions from Freeman's family and friends. After ten years of wondering, family members say they believe the right man is in custody. Authorities say he could face life in prison if convicted, but the road to trial is a long ways off.



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Normal Re: Nicholas McGuffin found Guilty of Manslaughter for the death of Leah Nicole Freeman/Sentencing w/be on Aug. 1/ Leah's story on 20/20 Friday July 29

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:11 am

Calling it a rewarding day investigators gathered in Coquille Monday night to announce an arrest had been made in the 10 year old murder of a Coquille teen.

Coos County District Attorney and Coquille Police Chief Mark Dannels were backed by just a handful of the numerous law enforcement officers who have played a role in the investigation into the death of 15 year old Leah Freeman.
An investigation that spanned many states, and even stretched to England, and led to a grand jury indictment of murder against 28 year old Nick McGuffin, who had been freeman's boyfriend at the time of her death.
To protect their case, they would not go into a lot of detail on Monday but one thing they did make clear was how much this meant.
Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier says, "this case has always meant a lot to me in terms of getting it resolved, so obviously, today I'm, how shall we say this, I'm a little bit relieved I guess that we have the indictment, but I also realize it's just the first step in the process and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us."
Chief Dannels says, "it's a great feeling in the fact that we got to this level of the criminal justice system, now we strive for the trial. So it's a rewarding day in that aspect for law enforcement and for the families. I know we spoke with them today... to bring some kind of closure to this investigation for 10 years."
Dannels says McGuffin was quote "indifferent" and "proclaimed his innocence" at the time of his arrest at his home in Green Acres.
But Leah Freeman's mother, Cory Courtight, says they got the right guy.
"I think I've done what any mother in this situation would do," says Courtright. "I love her, I miss her and I'll do what I have to do to get her justice. We'll see it through."
Investigators were quick to point out however that this arrest is just the first step in a long judicial process, a process that will continue with McGuffin's arraignment on Tuesday.
For now, he remains in custody with security set at two million dollars.

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Normal Video/ Alleged Killer's Neighbors Speak Out

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:15 am

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When police arrested Nick McGuffin Monday afternoon, neighbors say they were shocked. Several of the neighbors had kids of their own who went to high school with Nick. They say he seemed like a normal boy. Even neighbors who didn't know McGuffin very well say he just didn't seem like the type to hurt anyone.

Casey Gallino said, "I feel bad for Nick. I mean, if he did do this, then you know, he needs to pay the price and that's just what it is. And I feel awful for Leah's family as well because they have to have some closure."

But they say if Nick is guilty, they hope Leah's mother will finally be able to rest.

Susan Ford said, "What she had to go through all these years, I'm very happy for her and her family."

McGuffin's arraignment is set for Tuesday morning.


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