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 Video/ Alleged Killer's Neighbors Speak Out

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:15 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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Normal 15 Page Affidavit for Search Warrant/ Nicholas James McGuffin

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:20 am

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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 prayerbone on Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:28 am

Quote ""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. ''

How can they deny that happened, what a bunch of FOOEY !!

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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 raine1953 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:38 am

I wish his family was brought in with him.... & his friend if he was involved, what's happening with that?
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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 7:41 am

You all have worked tirelessly through the night to get out the latest on the arrest of Nick McGuffin. Thank you so much to BJ and Michelle_Ellis! I have added some embedded links and there are some duplicates. That is to be expected.

I sent Cory a PM last night and woke up this morning to read it. What a glorious way to start the day!! She wanted you all to know the following:

I can't explain the emotions running through me........
I'm so glad you pm'd me. Could I ask you for a favor? Since I am so bombarded with the media and everything, could you PLEASE tell the members here that I would post if I could but too much going on. I just want them to know I LOVE each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Their (and of course your) words have helped me so much since I joined VH. What an awesome group of people. I just truly do not know what I would do without this wonderful site. Amazing group of people.
K....I am outta here!!! Love you so much Kathie. And I LOVE VH.


I have absolutely no doubt in my mind we all understand Cory is going to be bombarded with media...possibly national. I DID ask her to text me IF she is asked and accepts a national television interview. Also, I would presume McGuffin's family will be interviewed. If I or any of you get wind of any new interviews, please post here!!

Thanks!! OMG...this is SO exciting!!
:celebration:

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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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:19 am

raine1953 wrote:I wish his family was brought in with him.... & his friend if he was involved, what's happening with that?

All in good time, my pretty, all in good time!
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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 9:25 am

Charm..your timing is spot on!!!! I completely agree. :crystal ball: witch

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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 raine1953 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:50 am

charminglane wrote:
raine1953 wrote:I wish his family was brought in with him.... & his friend if he was involved, what's happening with that?

All in good time, my pretty, all in good time!

See, I just want to see it all happen all at once..... yes, patience.... :cheering:
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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 lisette on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:25 am

I have probably read this early on, but I don't recall...Is Brent Bartley still in the area?
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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 10:44 am

I think he is.........

US People Search
BARTLEY, BRENT W 30 COOS BAY, OR
COQUILLE, OR
********
Anywho.com
Brent Bartley
*** N Broadway
Coos Bay, OR 97420
(541) 266-****

I left the numbers off even though it's all on the internet.

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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 artgal16 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:46 am

You have to have hope and you have to keep the memory alive as well as continue to do everything you can to keep an investigation alive. If you can do that,
I believe eventually justice will be served no matter how long it takes. I didnt read all the posts, does anyone know what finally got the police to arrest McGuffin?
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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 10:52 am

No artgal. The DA holds things close to the vest. We won't know until the trial. I am still looking for more arrests in this case. Not for murder but for a number of other possible charges. Like Obstruction of Justice etc.
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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 Ste1977 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:03 am

So happy to see an arrest finally come in Leah's case!! Hopefully the trial period is swift so that Corey and the rest of the family can move forward in the healing process. Just so so so thankful that this day has finally come!
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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 Ste1977 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:22 am

lindamarie wrote:Ste1977 welcome2 to Victims Heartland

Thanks! Don't really want the high jack this thread though ❤
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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 11:49 am

Ste1977, You are SOOOOO not jacking this thread!! Welcome to VH I am so glad you found it! I wanted you to know that we have a thread for your Brother as well. and again, WELCOME STE1977 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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:21 pm

Cory is such a sweet heart!!! WE LOVE YOU CORY!!! i know this is too soon, but i wonder when 20/20 will air Leah's segment??

Wrapitup wrote:You all have worked tirelessly through the night to get out the latest on the arrest of Nick McGuffin. Thank you so much to BJ and Michelle_Ellis! I have added some embedded links and there are some duplicates. That is to be expected.

I sent Cory a PM last night and woke up this morning to read it. What a glorious way to start the day!! She wanted you all to know the following:

I can't explain the emotions running through me........
I'm so glad you pm'd me. Could I ask you for a favor? Since I am so bombarded with the media and everything, could you PLEASE tell the members here that I would post if I could but too much going on. I just want them to know I LOVE each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Their (and of course your) words have helped me so much since I joined VH. What an awesome group of people. I just truly do not know what I would do without this wonderful site. Amazing group of people.
K....I am outta here!!! Love you so much Kathie. And I LOVE VH.


I have absolutely no doubt in my mind we all understand Cory is going to be bombarded with media...possibly national. I DID ask her to text me IF she is asked and accepts a national television interview. Also, I would presume McGuffin's family will be interviewed. If I or any of you get wind of any new interviews, please post here!!

Thanks!! OMG...this is SO exciting!!
:celebration:
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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 2:33 pm

A reporter with the Register-Guard wants to interview people who have been supportive of the cause throughout the last decade. If any of you are located in the Coos County area and are willing to do a phone interview today please let me know ASAP!

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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 2:35 pm

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 - Page 2 4c7404cd21ce4.preview-300


Moments before his arrest on Monday afternoon, Nicholas J. McGuffin pulled his 2005 Dodge Stratus to the side of Highway 42 and waved at officers who had been following him to his Greenacres-area home.
Coquille Police Chief Mark Dannels said McGuffin's reaction indicated his indifference and arrogance toward the death of Leah Freeman 10 years ago.
At 2:16 p.m., authorities from multiple police agencies arrested McGuffin on a murder indictment stemming from the teen's homicide. A Coos County grand jury had indicted him earlier that afternoon.
"He claimed his innocence to us," Dannels said.
The chief added that, although the suspect seemed unconcerned at the time of his arrest, McGuffin was "emotionally upset" while being booked at the Coos County jail. He is being held on $2 million bail.
Wants local trial
Dannels and Coos County District Attorney R. Paul Frasier spoke at a press conference Monday night to thank the partnering city, state and federal agencies that participated in the investigation and arrest. They revealed little new information about the case.
Frasier said he hopes, by withholding details about the cause of 15-year-old Leah's 2000 death, he will be able to try McGuffin in Coos County Circuit Court. Too much publicity could complicate the task of seating an impartial jury.
"I would really like to keep this trial in Coos County," he said.
McGuffin was set to appear in Judge Michael Gillespie's courtroom for an arraignment hearing at 1 p.m. today. If convicted, he could face a mandatory life imprisonment sentence with a 25-year minimum.
No more arrests
Although Frasier urged anyone with information on the case to contact the Coquille Police Department, he said no further arrests are expected.
"In this case, Nick was always the one we felt was involved," Frasier said.
Dannels said McGuffin hired Eugene lawyer Bob McCrea shortly after investigators reopened the case, and the defendant's parents had approached Dannels in October 2009 in hope of clearing McGuffin's name.
The indictment and subsequent arrest come after two years of re-investigating the case, which went cold in 2001.
Dannels said he and Frasier began meeting to reopen it on the eighth anniversary of Leah's disappearance, shortly after Dannels took over the police department from former Chief Mike Reaves.
The district attorney and Dannels announced the creation of a special cold case task force in January of this year.
Re-examined evidence
Through the course of the investigation, the team re-examined old evidence, compared files and visited Washington, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and other areas to conduct interviews and gain advice from crime-solving organizations such as the Vidocq Society in Philadelphia.
Frasier and Dannels presented the case to that group in January. Frasier said investigators also began to receive tips in January, re-interviewed old sources, and tested some evidence that hadn't been tested in 2000.
Frasier wouldn't say what that had been.
"This wasn't a Coquille police investigation; it was a multi-agency investigation that brought closure to this case," Dannels said.
"Every step we've taken in this case has been by the book."
113 witnesses
In June, Dannels announced he had a suspect, and Frasier said he would meet with a grand jury in coming months to obtain an indictment.
For the eight grand jury hearings, held from July 14 through Monday, Frasier called 113 witnesses in person or via video-conference and presented the reports of seven other witnesses.
He said he never has called so many witnesses for any proceeding. He wanted the grand jury to see every angle of the case, he said, even theories that had been debunked by police or not. Frasier said he wanted jurors to make their decision based on the totality of the information.
"A lot of hard work has been done to get this case where it stands today," Frasier told a crowd of family members, friends and reporters Monday night.
"This case has always meant a lot to me in terms of getting it resolved."
Dannels said he's pleased with the result of their work.
"Now we strive for trial," he said.
The disappearance
According to The World's archives, searchers found Leah's body near Fairview Road following a 37-day search.
She had disappeared after 9 p.m. June 28, 2000, when she was seen walking home from a friend's house. Her boyfriend, McGuffin, had dropped her off at the friend's house and planned to pick her up around 9 o'clock. But she began walking to her mother's house before he arrived.
By 3:30 a.m., her mother, Cory Courtright, realized Leah hadn't returned home. She reported her daughter missing, but the Coquille Police Department initially treated the case as a runaway incident.
The tone of the investigation changed after Leah's bloody shoes were found in a cemetery and along a dirt road.
Since that time, investigators have said only that she died of homicidal violence. They have revealed nothing else about her death.
A lack of effort?
People in the audience at the press conference asked Frasier whether a lack of effort by the Coquille Police Department 10 years ago prevented an earlier resolution of the case.
Several said "Bingo! Bingo!" as Frasier tried to answer. He said he was involved in the case when it began and never saw police officers slacking off.
"You know, I really can't say," he said.
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 the country road.
Mother's suspicions
Although Courtright said she's in shock about the arrest, 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.
After the press conference, she said she feels somewhat relieved.
"I know this is only the beginning, but it's the step I've been waiting for 10-plus years now," Courtright said.
Polygraph examination
Documents related to the case have been posted on Courtright's website about her daughter, including an affidavit filed eight days after Leah's disappearance. In the affidavit, Coquille police officer Dave Hall said the suspect had not been truthful when he was given a polygraph investigation.
McGuffin was asked these questions and answered no to each:
• Did you physically do something that resulted in Leah's death?
• Did you have any direct involvement in Leah's disappearance?
• Have you talked to Leah since last Wednesday night after 9 p.m.?
When polygraph examiner Mark Ranger of the Oregon State Police told McGuffin of the test results, the suspect's demeanor changed from cooperative to angry and he terminated the interview.
According to Hall, McGuffin also said he and a friend had searched the streets for Leah into the early morning hours but said he had not spotted her.
Other witnesses, however, said they had seen the teenager walking on Central Avenue at the time McGuffin and a friend were searching.
Reporter Jessica Musicar can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240; or at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]://www.theworldlink.com/news/local/article_f97a37cc-afa6-11df-afc2-001cc4c03286.html

This is a great article!!
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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 2:37 pm

Cory has been doing press interviews all day and will be doing them late into the day following the arraignment. She is doing a fabulous job - love you Cory! You Go Girl

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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 lisette on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Brent Bartley and Nick's parents (at least his father) had to have known something all those years...It is a shame if they don't have to answer for being accessories...
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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 2:45 pm

I have confirmed with local law enforcement that the statute of limitations for accomplices in murder has indeed passed. This exception to the statute on murder, has a three-year statute of limitations.

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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 lisette on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:47 pm

That makes no sense to me! If someone helps cover up a murder, they shouldn't be rewarded for keeping their mouths shut until the allotted time is up! That law needs to be changed!! 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 Guest on Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:51 pm

Well that is disappointing. When the trial starts these people might as well pack up move and change their identities. Shame on them. Karma is a bitch.
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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 2:53 pm

What a great article, Mommy! Thank you for posting it. You are a sweetheart! Big Hug

Lisette, I could not agree with you more. Now, we await the arraignment that should be coming up in about 10 minutes, correct?

Cory PM'd me again this morning. She is one busy gal, said she barely slept. But, she said the lack of sleep was from elation. :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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:03 pm

y michelle_ellis Today at 2:45 pm

I have confirmed with local law enforcement that the statute of limitations for accomplices in murder has indeed passed. This exception to the statute on murder, has a three-year statute of limitation

NO WAY! I thought for sure there would be an exemption of statute of limitations for anyone involved in a MURDER case!! over reaction

I was thinking perhaps one of them came forward with information, or maybe knowing they were safe from getting arrested themselves, they weren't afraid to speak up FINALLY!! la la la
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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 4:50 pm

Oh well....at least they have Nick. Karma is a bitch! angel

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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 4:51 pm

Any news on the arraignment? Anything? It's been almost 2 hours.

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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 5:17 pm

Nothing as of yet. I was hoping Michelle would let us know since she is the one with all the News Station Connections. :cheering: You Go Girl
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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 CritterFan1 on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:50 pm

lisette wrote:That makes no sense to me! If someone helps cover up a murder, they shouldn't be rewarded for keeping their mouths shut until the allotted time is up! That law needs to be changed!! head bang
Isn't that the truth?? Makes me sick. This has been a long time coming!!!!! ❤
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Normal Man accused in decade-old slaying: 'I'm not a flight risk'

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:35 pm

Ten years after Leah Freeman's body was found, the man many suspected all along appeared in court accused of her murder.

Nick McGuffin cried as he asked the judge to reduce his bail.

"I'm not a flight risk," the 28 year old said. "I'm a family man and I work hard."

He did not enter a plea at his first court appearance.

McGuffin is accused of murdering Leah Freeman, his girlfriend at the time, in June 2000. He was 18, she was 15 at the time.

His attorney asked the judge to reduce his client's bail, presently set at $2 million. A hearing on his bail request is scheduled for Sept. 2.


'I'd rather have her be a runaway than have her be abducted'

Leah Freeman vanished June 28, 2000. She was last seen walking home from a friend's house in Coquille. | See photos of Leah Freeman

Nick McGuffin told investigators he went to go pick her up but never found her.

Police called her a runaway.

Her family feared the 15 year old had been abducted.

Her sister, Denise Freeman, said at the time, "I'd do anything to have her back. I should have been watching her as her big sister."

McGuffin, then 18, gave an interview to KVAL News 8 days after Leah's disappearance.

He said he was in agony that she was missing.

"I just want her back," he said at the time. "She's the best thing that's ever happened to me."

He showed a reporter pictures and video from the prom they had just attended.

"I'd rather have her be a runaway than have her be abducted because then I'd know she's was OK," McGuffin told KVAL News in 2000.


'I think they got the right guy. I do'

Just days after that interview, Leah's blood splattered shoe was found.

About 5 weeks after she went missing, someone found her decomposed body down an embankment, thrown from an isolated road nine miles out of town.

Court records show investigators searched McGuffin's home and car. They gave him a polygraph test, which court documents show he failed.

Prosecutors even offered immunity to his friend, Brent Bartley, if he testified before the grand jury.

But McGuffin was never named as a suspect. The case went cold - until last year.

That's when a new police chief, Mark Dannels, reopened the case under family and community pressure.

A team of investigators interviewed hundreds of witnesses.

Over a series of month they presented all the evidence to the grand jury. On Monday, the grand jury indicted McGuffin for Freeman's murder.

Former Sheriff Captian Bruce McCain said the new investigation must have yielded new, stronger evidence.

"He was not indicted or arrested on the basis of failing two or three polygraph questions 10 years ago," McCain said. "There's obviously going to be something much more substantial."

For Leah's mother, Cory Courtright, after 10 years of pain, frustration and suspicion she is relieved justice is finally at hand.

"It was like finally, finally, finally, finally happened," she said. "Because I think they got the right guy. I do."

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Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:47 pm

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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 - Page 2 8-24-freeman-mom_imagepreview

The trial for Nicholas McGuffin remains unset, but the impact of the arrest of Leah Freeman's former boyfriend can be seen on the faces of her family.

It was the announcement Freeman's mother, Cory Courtwright waited more than 10 years to hear. While she describes the arrest of her daughter's former boyfriend as a step towards closure, she says it's been a trying decade fighting for her daughter's justice.

"We're all very happy that this day has finally come. We've been through a lot," said Courtwright. "I was a little scared at first because he wouldn't say anything over the phone. He just told me to come to the office."

That's when Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier and Coquille's chief of police broke the news to her. Police had arrested Nicholas McGuffin, her daughter's high school sweetheart for the girl's murder.

"It was like finally, finally, finally happened, because yeah I think they got the right guy," she said.

But Courtwright says she didn't always feel that way. She says at first she had her doubts and didn't think it could have been McGuffin.

"I didn't want to think anyone could do anything so horrible you know, especially her boyfriend. It makes me sick," she said.

But years of begging for help also made Courtwright sick as she led her family, pushing the then-chief of police to look outside of Coquille for aid in the investigation.

"Which is what I ask for 10 years ago, outside help, can you get some outside help, but I couldn't get an answer from him, but I did from this one," she said.

Chief of Police Mark Dannels made it his mission to crack open unsolved cases, like Leah Freeman's, when he took over nearly two years ago.

"There is a long road ahead of us, and we know that, I know that. It is what it is now, and so I just have to deal with it, and however long it takes, I'll be right here," said Courtright.

Courtright says she would have liked to have had an arrest 10 years ago when this all started, but she says it's worth the wait and worth it if it means getting justice for her daughter.


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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 Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:57 pm

There must be some way to charge ALL those responsible. Would the time limitations apply to a civil suit? Seems to me the time should work against those responsible instead of for them. It's not like time has lessened the effect of their actions. I don't think it is mean to hope they have suffered from guilt all these years, but it is not enough suffering in my opinion.
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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 7:59 pm

❤ Love you Leah Freeman and Cory. We will be right here too no matter how long it takes. Justice for Leah Freeman!
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Normal Man accused of killing girlfriend appears in court

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:28 pm

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 - Page 2 100824_mcguffin_court
Nicholas McGuffin cries in a Coos County court Tuesday after being arrested for the murder of his then 15-year-old girlfriend during the summer of 2000.

A man charged with murdering his girlfriend a decade ago appeared in a Coos County court Tuesday.

Coos County authorities arrested 28-year-old Nicholas McGuffin Monday on charges of killing then 15-year-old Leah Freeman.

He is being held on $2 million bail.

McGuffin cried in court Tuesday during his arraignment and asked the judge to reduce his bail.

Even after finding her bloody shoe and eventually her body down a steep hill weeks after her disappearance, Freeman’s case still went cold.

Many people suspected McGuffin had something to do with her death, but authorities never officially named him a suspect until a new police chief, under community pressure, reopened Freeman’s case earlier this year.

Community pressure came from Freeman’s family who vowed to never give up the search for her killer. Authorities still have not released how Freeman died.

When police reopened the case in January, they used a special team to interview hundreds of witnesses which led to McGuffin’s arrest.

Freeman vanished in June of 2000 while walking home from a friend’s house and authorities found her body five weeks later.

Her mother, Cory Courtright, broke down when she saw McGuffin in court and said he looks nothing like he did the last time she saw him.

“I don’t know, he just scares me. It just made me shake and cry,” she said.http://www.katu.com/news/local/101434724.html

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Normal Family of Leah Freeman relieved by murder cold case arrest

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:29 pm

Ten years after 15 year-old Coquille resident Leah Freeman was found dead in Coos County, Leah’s family members say they’re relieved to finally see a break in the case.
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, Leah Freeman’s mother Cory Courtright spent the morning with her sisters at their home in Coquille, remembering Leah 10 years after her death.

For Cory, the last decade has been an emotional rollercoaster.

“It's the most devastating experience a parent could ever endure,” says Courtright.

Leah disapeered when she was 15-years-old in late June 2000. By early August 2000, he body was discovered off a road near Fairview in Coos County.

Remembering Leah is something Cory does everyday. Pictures of her daughter fill her house, along with mementos of her life.

“Most of all, I remember her laugh. I can still hear it... in my head, I can still hear her laugh,” says Courtright.

Cory waited for 10 years for a break in the case, sometimes losing hope.

“You start to lose a little hope, but give up? ... never,” says Courtright.

Cory says she kept her strength knowing other parents out there are dealing with similar situations in there lives, and knowing that some cold cases are solved.

“I couldn't let myself lose that hope,” says Courtright. “Every once in a while you will see, that a such and such year old case has been solved and I always kept that in the back of my head as the years went by.”

Reading Oregon newspaper headlines today and seeing one man, 28 year-old Nick McGuffin, under arrest, accused in Leah’s death, Cory says there is a some relief. However, Cory says there is a lot left that can happen.

“Like the (Coos County) District Attorney (Paul Frasier) said, this is just one small step, this is just the first step,” says Cory.

“And it may seem like a small step to many, but it’s a huge step to me,” says Cory.

With a break in Leah’s case, Cory says she hopes to continue the process of moving on.

“Hopefully I can get on with my life, I have another daughter. I have four beautiful grandchildren. I just want to be their grandma, and Denis deserves her Mom back,” says Courtright.

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Normal 10 years later, family of Coquille teen relieved by arrest

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:27 pm

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 - Page 2 Thumb_1282696460906_0p11089745765141445

Nicholas McGuffin made his first appearance in court today. He’s charged with the murder of Leah Freeman. Investigators say McGuffin has been the prime suspect in Freeman’s murder all along, though they've never made that public until now. The two were dating at the time of Freeman’s disappearance ten years ago. McGuffin would have been 18 at the time of Freeman's death; she was 15.

Today was an intensely emotional day in court. Supporters for both McGuffin and Freeman watched the proceedings. Tears were shed all around. The tension between the two groups was no secret; they were asked to leave separately after the proceedings.

District Attorney Paul Frasier says this case been particularly difficult. According to Frasier, McGuffin has been a suspect for years, but investigators never had enough evidence to arrest him. Frasier said, “I've had lots of cases in my career, whether it be a theft case or whatever, that I'm pretty sure I know who did it, but I just can't prove it. And that's always frustrating. But it was frustrating especially in this case.

McGuffin did say a few words in the proceedings today. He thanked the judge for allowing a release hearing where McGuffin’s lawyers can ask the court to reduce his bail. That hearing is McGuffin’s next court date; it’s scheduled for September 2nd.

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Normal Change of venue motion likely in Freeman case

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:32 pm

VIDEO ON THIS LINK
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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 - Page 2 KCBY_CHANGE_OF_VENUE

Emotions were hard to suppress inside a Coos County Courtroom as Nick McGuffin is arraigned on a Grand Jury charge of murder, in the death of his girlfriend 10 years ago.

A day after being arrested for the murder of Leah Freeman, an emotionally distraught McGuffin, backed by his family and friends, wept often as his attorney entered a Not Guilty plea on his behalf.
He also asked Judge Michael Gillespie to consider his release from jail, where he is being held on a $2,000,000 security. "I'm not a flight risk, I'm a family man. I work hard," said McGuffin.
While they could ask the Judge to release him on his own recognizance, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier believes they are probably just going to try and get a reduction in the security.
The bigger question remains whether or not the trial will even be held in Coos County.
Frasier says there has been a motion for a change of venue in most, if not all, of his murder cases and believes this one will be no different. "I'd be surprised if there wasn't one in this case because this case has had more publicity than the average, run-of-the-mill, case."
But, for now, the next step in this legal process is a hearing on the request for a security reduction, which is set for September 2nd.

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Last edited by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:12 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added video)

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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 10:41 pm

Sorry I haven't been online for awhile. Am playing single mother right now and trying to meet crucial deadlines for one of my clients.

48 Hours is on the case to a certain degree, see their blog post from today at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] This is just news they pulled from their local sister affiliate KVAL. 20/20 is still the only national news outlet with exclusive in-depth coverage of the case.

A little birdie told me to look for an interview with Nick's father in one of the regional newspapers tomorrow morning. I will post it on here once I have a chance to.


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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 10:44 pm

Wrapitup wrote:Rainbow, I love your signature!! It REALLY is most fitting today. ❤

Thanks Wrap & I agree! I like to think that Leah is up in heaven right now having a major party over this good news!! angel :celebration: :woot: :cheers:
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Normal Nicholas McGuffin arraignment today, tearful young man

Post by Nama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:26 pm

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 - Page 2 Aab

The Freeman family and the McGuffin family took up residence outside the courtroom in separate sections of the hallway in advance of the 1PM arraignment. The arrangement was in place before I got there so I had no way of knowing one group of persons were members of the McGuffin family so when I started to shoot a picture of the group I was sternly rebuffed. (Later, I sat with the press in the jury box and got a couple shots off)

McGuffin was visibly shaking and in tears when I passed by him, already seated, to the press area. His lawyer and DA Paul Frasier arrived minutes later to begin the proceeding. A hearing is set for next month to hear a plea for reduction of bail. McGuffin is not considered a high flight risk and may be let out on his own recognizance, although Frasier states he will try to keep him in jail. McGuffin thanked the judge for considering his requests stating he was a family man and hard working.

As the families were entering the Judge Gillespie’s courtroom, Cory Courtright, Leah’s mother, was in tears at the entrance and McGuffin’s mother standing a few feet behind her said, “Cry all you want, Cory. Nick is innocent”. Much to Cory’s credit she responded only that Mrs McGuffin should not speak to her, ever.

Clearly, the McGuffin family is under terrible stress but they did not behave especially well, in my opinion. Mrs McGuffin’s complete lack of empathy for Cory’s loss was just plain ugly.

According to the DA there are no plans to charge anyone with obstruction of justice or as an accessory to the crime at this time.

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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:00 am

WOW, look at all the news!! This is intense and unreal! I have been busy all night with Fall Ball Baseball practice, Dinner, Showers You know all the busy momma stuff! I am anxious to watch Fox news at 10:00 tonight. Hoping they give Leah a segment!!

BJ and Michelle, you 2 are so wonderful for posting all you have. you rock 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 michelle_ellis on Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:48 am

BJ in OR wrote: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 - Page 2 Aab

As the families were entering the Judge Gillespie’s courtroom, Cory Courtright, Leah’s mother, was in tears at the entrance and McGuffin’s mother standing a few feet behind her said, “Cry all you want, Cory. Nick is innocent”. Much to Cory’s credit she responded only that Mrs McGuffin should not speak to her, ever.

Oh my goodness, you have GOT to be kidding me! Cory I applaud you for handling this situation in such a good manner.

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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:52 am

I honestly don't have time to post everything on here, on the Facebook cause page and the Facebook page. So, the most up-to-date site is always the Justice for Leah Facebook page.

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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:06 am

MSNBC posts KMTR's story on its site at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

10 years later, family of Coquille teen relieved by arrest
COQUILLE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Ten years after 15 year-old Coquille resident Leah Freeman was found dead in Coos County , Leah’s family members say they’re relieved to finally see a break in the case. Tuesday, August 24 th , 2010 , Leah Freeman’s mother Cory Courtright spent the morning with her sisters at their home in Coquille, remembering Leah 10 years after her death. For Cory, the last decade has been an emotional rollercoaster. “It's the most devastating experience a parent could ever endure,” says Courtright. Leah disapeered when she was 15-years-old in late June 2000. By early August 2000, he body was discovered off a road near Fairview in Coos County . Remembering Leah is something Cory does everyday. Pictures of her daughter fill her house, along with mementos of her life. “Most of all, I remember her laugh. I can still hear it... in my head, I can still hear her laugh,” says Courtright. Cory waited for 10 years for a break in the case, sometimes losing hope. “You start to lose a little hope, but give up? ... never,” says Courtright. Cory says she kept her strength knowing other parents out there are dealing with similar situations in there lives, and knowing that some cold cases are solved. “I couldn't let myself lose that hope,” says Courtright. “Every once in a while you will see, that a such and such year old case has been solved and I always kept that in the back of my head as the years went by.” Reading Oregon newspaper headlines today and seeing one man, 28 year-old Nick McGuffin, under arrest, accused in Leah’s death, Cory says there is a some relief. However, Cory says there is a lot left that can happen. “Like the ( Coos County ) District Attorney (Paul Frasier) said, this is just one small step, this is just the first step,” says Cory. “And it may seem like a small step to many, but it’s a huge step to me,” says Cory. With a break in Leah’s case, Cory says she hopes to continue the process of moving on. “Hopefully I can get on with my life, I have another daughter. I have four beautiful grandchildren. I just want to be their grandma, and Denis deserves her Mom back,” says Courtright.


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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:11 am

KDVR also covered the arraignment today. They sent a reporter down even - [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post by michelle_ellis on Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:24 am

UPI has written a piece on the case, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:21 am

McGuffin is not considered a high flight risk and may be let out on his own recognizance, although Frasier states he will try to keep him in jail. McGuffin thanked the judge for considering his requests stating he was a family man and hard working.

As the families were entering the Judge Gillespie’s courtroom, Cory Courtright, Leah’s mother, was in tears at the entrance and McGuffin’s mother standing a few feet behind her said, “Cry all you want, Cory. Nick is innocent”. Much to Cory’s credit she responded only that Mrs McGuffin should not speak to her, ever.

Clearly, the McGuffin family is under terrible stress but they did not behave especially well, in my opinion. Mrs McGuffin’s complete lack of empathy for Cory’s loss was just plain ugly.
Not considered a flight risk? He's gotten away with her murder for 10 years. Who's to say he wouldn't flee???

The apple sure as hell doesn't fall far from the tree in the McGuffin family. What a despicable thing to say to Cory. I want to bitch slap her!!

Cory, you are amazing how you kept your composure. I hope Nick's parent's go on tv and make complete fools of themselves.

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Normal Emotional arraignment

Post by Nama on Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:59 am

Ten years of tension found an outlet in a Coos County courtroom on Tuesday, as a red-eyed, sniffling Nicholas James McGuffin faced a judge for the first time since investigators zeroed in on him as a suspect in the disappearance and murder of 15-year-old Leah Freeman in 2000. Shackled, McGuffin was already crying as sheriff’s deputies led him into Coos County Circuit Judge Michael Gillespie’s courtroom for arraignment. He asked for help as he sat down and winced as his knees bent. Then he bowed his head and wept softly, straining to wipe the tears from his face with his cuffed hands. He shook, uncontrollably, as his attorney whispered into his ear.

McGuffin wasn’t the only one trying to keep it together. Outside the courtroom, Freeman’s mother, Cory Courtwright, stood at the front of a line of people waiting to enter until the 28-year-old accused of murdering her daughter had been seated. When she spotted him, she started to shake too, and to sob.

“I was staring at the man that’s believed to be my daughter’s killer,” Courtwright said later. “I couldn’t hardly look at him. I nearly fainted.”

Behind her was McGuffin’s mother, Kathleen, who is convinced her son had nothing to do with Freeman’s death.

“Cry all you want,” McGuffin told Courtwright. “My son is innocent.”

“Don’t talk to me,” Courtwright shot back. “Don’t ever talk to me again.”

Nick McGuffin pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, in front of a row of stone- and red-faced observers the judge ordered to leave in separate groups after the proceeding had concluded. At the end of the arraignment hearing, when Gillespie asked McGuffin if he had any questions, he thanked the judge for setting a Sept. 2 hearing date to consider reducing the $2 million bail.

“I’m not a flight risk,” McGuffin said. “I’m a family man.”

Just what kind of a man he is has been the subject of some debate for 10 years, as the disappearance of Freeman hovered over this small town like a fog that never abates.

For Courtwright, it’s been a decadelong battle for justice, from the moment authorities found her daughter’s body in a forested area 10 miles east of Coquille, down an embankment. At first, she said in an interview with The Register-Guard after Tuesday’s arraignment, she didn’t suspect Leah’s boyfriend, Nick.

“I thought he was an all right kind of guy,” Courtwright said.

She was concerned about the couple’s age difference, though, and at one point forbade her daughter from seeing him. Eventually, hearing reports that the two were sneaking around behind her back and sexually active, she said she realized her top priority should be to try to keep her daughter from getting pregnant. She made an appointment with the county health department, for her daughter to get on birth control.

Leah never made it to that appointment.

When the girl went missing, Courtwright was more intent on finding her than thinking about who might be responsible, she said. But after Leah’s body was discovered, Courtwright’s relationship with Nick McGuffin took a strange turn, she said.

After failing a polygraph test to determine whether he was involved in Leah’s disappearance, McGuffin showed up at Courtwright’s house, with his parents, she said. He immediately went into the backyard and started vomiting. His father, Bruce McGuffin, tried to comfort the grieving mother, explaining that his son was upset because he’d just taken the lie detector test.

“(Bruce) was hugging me, and I pushed back, and said ‘Wait. What were the results?’ ” Courtwright said. “He said ‘Oh, he passed with flying colors.’ ”

Bruce McGuffin was then and is now certain his boy is innocent, he said in an interview with The Register-Guard.

“I would have been the first one who would have turned him in if I knew he did it,” McGuffin said.

Leah and Nick were deeply in love and planned to get married, Bruce McGuffin said. She helped his son get off drugs, and basically lived with the McGuffin family for the last three months of her life, McGuffin added.

“She was a princess. She was like our own kid,” he said. “You don’t go killing your own kids.”

Still, Nick and Leah’s friends and her family members were determined to keep them apart, Bruce McGuffin said. After she disappeared, any attempts the family made to assist in the investigation ultimately “got turned around on us,” the father said. “It’s really sad.”

As the killing has hung over Freeman’s family, so it has for the McGuffin’s, Bruce McGuffin said.

“The last ten years have been hell for (Nick),” McGuffin said. “People follow him around, filming everything he does. Anybody he meets, the police go to the family and let them know he’s a person of interest in a murder trial. He’s had a rough life. We have too. You can’t go into a store without somebody yelling out, ‘Your son is a murderer.’ ”

Nick failed the lie detector test because, “He felt he was responsible, because he wasn’t there to pick her up when he was supposed to be,” Bruce McGuffin said. “He’s felt guilty about that the whole time.”

Courtwright said she believes McGuffin felt guilty for a different reason. She’s been battling to keep the investigation alive since the day her daughter’s body turned up.

At first, police assumed Freeman had run away, said former Coos County Sheriff Mike Cook. For the first week, the police didn’t really do much to try to find Leah.

“Of course, the first 48 hours of a case like this are the most important,” Cook said. “So much immediacy was lost in the investigation. Even back then, it would have been hard to recover some of that evidence that would have been crucial and important to the case.”

By the time the police started to take it more seriously, the problem was one of manpower and forensic skill, Cook said.

“A small-town law enforcement agency like the Coquille Police Department back then, they didn’t really have the expertise to work a case of this caliber,” Cook said.

Courtwright kept haranguing then-police chief Michael Reaves, who wound up resigning from the department after protests at City Hall from people unhappy with the police department for, among other things, its handling of the Freeman case. Reaves could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Courtwright didn’t give up, though, and neither did her supporters in the community.

“There was a lot of outrage,” said Mary Geddry, a resident who has been following the case since she moved to the area in 2003.

Reaves’ replacement, Mark Dannels, heard from citizen after citizen upon his arrival in Coquille that they wanted something done about the Leah Freeman case. Dannels promised Courtwright justice.

Nick McGuffin will be prosecuted by District Attorney Paul Frasier, who was the Major Crimes Team’s point man from the DA’s office back in 2000 on this case, and has been frustrated since then that there wasn’t enough solid evidence to make an arrest. Frasier’s own daughter went to school with Leah, he said. Their pictures are next to one another in the school yearbook.

Frasier said the police were focused on finding Leah in the beginning, not catching her killer. “We had no idea whether she was dead or alive,” he said.

Once her body turned up, he said, many physical clues were lost during the five weeks of decomposition and the investigators working on the case just didn’t get enough evidence for an indictment. Asked if he has any regrets about how the case was handled in 2000, Frasier paused, and sighed. “You can play the ‘what if’ game all you want,” he said. “I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t think ‘What can we do on this case?’ But we’re at where we’re at now because of what we’ve done in the last two years. We’re moving on.”

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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:37 am

"BJ in OR": Bruce McGuffin was then and is now certain his boy is innocent, he said in an interview with The Register-Guard.
“I would have been the first one who would have turned him in if I knew he did it,” McGuffin said.
Leah and Nick were deeply in love and planned to get married, Bruce McGuffin said. She helped his son get off drugs, and basically lived with the McGuffin family for the last three months of her life, McGuffin added.
“She was a princess. She was like our own kid,” he said. “You don’t go killing your own kids.”


What is he talking about?!? No one is accusing him of killing Leah, it is his son who is the accused!! head bang

I would hope that Nick McGuffin's tears were due to the guilt he has been carrying around for the past 10 years. If so, it would be wonderful if he would confess to the crime & spare Cory & her family & friends a long drawn-out trial!! Fingers Crossed
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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 Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:31 am

Cry all you want,” McGuffin told Courtwright. “My son is innocent.”

“Don’t talk to me,” Courtwright shot back. “Don’t ever talk to me again.”
Oh good thing I was not there. How dare she? I believe she helped destroy evidence and she is so darn lucky to not be in trial for Obstruction of Justice.
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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

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