7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!!

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Normal Re: 7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!!

Post by mommyof3kids on Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:08 pm

It is weird that the defense only used one day to plead their side of the case! Now it will be up to the jury to decide!

CORY and Family are in my thoughts today! No matter what the outcome, Leah knows you fought tooth and nail for her justice and may her beautiful soul be set free!!! angel

I changed my profile to her beautiful memorial on a bench at her favorite park growing up! butterfly

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Post by Nama on Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:44 pm

.The trial was already over except for the verdict when this was posted....a little late.

Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier gave his closing argument this morning in the murder case against Nicholas James McGuffin, on trial for the slaying of 15-year-old Leah Freeman, 11 years ago.

The prosecutor urged jurors to “hold the defendent accountable for what he did 11 years ago” and went on to describe a volatile, troubled relationship between the young couple that was “headed for disaster.”

Frasier also showed a stomach-turning photo of Freeman’s body, which was discovered down an embankment near the Coquille River, five weeks after she went missing. At that moment, Freeman’s mother, Cory Courtright, kept her eyes fixed on the courtroom floor.

After lunch, McGuffin’s defense attorney, Shaun McCrea, is set to make her closing argument. Then the jury will begin deliberation.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:07 pm

Thanks BJ! Not sure what is going on the local news stations, but I hate that we have to wait for the details until after court has already adjured for the day!

On another note..
Frasier also showed a stomach-turning photo of Freeman’s body, which was discovered down an embankment near the Coquille River, five weeks after she went missing. At that moment, Freeman’s mother, Cory Courtright, kept her eyes fixed on the courtroom floor.
crying
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Post by raine1953 on Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:12 pm

OMG. I too am sorry that you had to go thru' this.
My thoughts and prayers are w/ you and your family Cory. May that jury do Justice for Leah and find Nick guilty. No mater how it turns out, Leah knows that you fought for all these years and have done everything you could do Cory.
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Normal In the hands of the jury

Post by Nama on Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:49 pm

The fate of a man accused of killing his high school girlfriend in 2000 is now in the hands of the jury.

The defense gave its closing argument after lunch in the murder trial of Nick McGuffin, accused of killing 15-year-old Leah Freeman.

Prosecutors gave their closing remarks before lunch.

The jury got their instructions from the judge and began deliberations shortly after 3:30 p.m. Monday.

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Post by jeanne1807 on Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:59 pm

BJ do you know if they only deliberate til 5 this evening? I know JP set deliberations from 9 - 5.

Some do and some don't.
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Post by Nama on Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:01 pm

I don't know Jeanne.

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Post by Nama on Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:03 pm

The fate of murder defendant Nick McGuffin now lies in the hands of the jury as both the prosecution and defense rest their cases with closing arguments.

A trial that was supposed to run through the end of the week has come to a speedier conclusion, as District Attorney Paul Frasier summarized witness testimony in the death of Leah Freeman.
Before closing arguments got underway, one juror was dismissed for having a conversation over the weekend with a witness. The alternate juror assumed their new seat, and closing arguments resumed, during which Frasier contends Nick and Leah's relationship, under the right circumstances could and did erupt into a violent end.
"What happened June 28, 2000 was the pressures, the feelings, teenage emotions erupted into a catastrophe that ended the life of Leah Freeman. And after that incident occurred there's some panic. What am I going to do?" exclaims Frasier.
An emotional Nick McGuffin swept away tears after Frasier's closing arguments. And then it was time for the defense, who contends that the evidence just isn't there.
"There wasn't anything going on between Nick McGuffin and Leah Freeman that would incite him to want to kill her that night. The evidence just isn't there. The evidence is that he was protective of her, he was defensive of her. He didn't want her to go to Cheri's but she insisted she was going to and so he took her over there. But what you see from the documentation is, the relationship was good," counters Shaun McCrea, Nick McGuffin's defense attorney.
With closing arguments putting an end to the murder trial of Leah Freeman, the 12 person jury will now have to decide who to believe.
KCBY will be at the Coos County Courthouse over the course of the week so we can bring the verdict to you, as soon as it is read.

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Post by lisette on Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:14 pm

Closing Statements Wrap Up McGuffin Trial

July 18, 2011
By Sharon Ko

COQUILLE, Ore. -- Closing arguments wrapped up the Nicholas McGuffin trial Monday. Before the jury decided a verdict both sides presented their case for a final time.

The defense team called on their last witnesses before closing statements. One of the wintesses, Barbara Carr, testified that when she owned McGuffin's car, the trunk was also empty.

Carr is now the second wintess to testify that there wasn't a trunk liner in the defendant's car.

The state theorized that McGuffin transported Freeman in his mustang and then possibly rid the trunk of evidence.

The state recalled forensic scientst, Kathy Wilcox, who testified there was no evidence of a stabbing when she examined Leah's clothes as the defense's forensic scientist testified last week.

In their closing arguments, the state painted a picture of how they believed Freeman died.

District attorney Paul Fraiser says McGuffin didn't mean to kill Leah. But the night she disappeared, things just got out of hand.

Fraiser says Leah may have been strangled to death and then he got rid of the body.

During her disappearance, Fraiser says Nick's actions and ever-changing stories is evidence that he killed her.

"We submit that the defendant thinks he's above the law. He's gotten away with it for 11 years and he still thinks he can get away with it," says Fraiser.

But the defense says prosecutors have it wrong and that there's no evidence.

After testing Nick's car and even Leah's clothes there's nothing that links the two.

McGuffin's attorneys think Leah was abducted and stabbed.

They say Nick was her guardian and the only thing he is guilty of is not protecting her.

"Nick is still haunted. He's still haunted that he could still see Leah laying there. 'Cause he's never gonna be free of it. He feels guilty that he didn't protect her. As her guardian he did not save her," says Shaun McCrea, defense attorney.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:23 pm

7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!! - Page 3 Mcguffinjpg-60022522aef97b53
COQUILLE – Is Nicholas McGuffin the haunted boyfriend pursued by the state at the expense of finding Leah Freeman's real killer? Or is he an arrogant killer, whose anger escalated to violence and murder during a lover's quarrel?

Those are the possibilities jurors must now consider nine days into the murder trial of McGuffin, accused killing Leah Freeman, 15, on summer night in 2000. The jurors went into deliberations at about 3:15 p.m. Monday and left the courthouse about 5:45 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

McGuffin, 18 at the time of Freeman's death and now 29, is charged with murder.

Freeman went missing June 28, 2000, after leaving her girlfriend Cherie Mitchell's Coquille home in a huff. Mitchell's mother had denied the girls' request to go jogging, which led to some tough talk about how Cherie Mitchell and her mother Peggy Mitchell felt about Freeman's choice of McGuffin for a boyfriend.

More
The Oregonian’s continuing coverage of the death of Leah Freeman and the trial of Nicholas McGuffin.One of Freeman's shoes was found later that night; the other, splattered with blood, a week later.

Then, on Aug. 3, 2000, Freeman's decomposed body was found down a steep embankment thick with trees and undergrowth. The cause of death was never determined, though the state maintains she was likely strangled. The defense team, however, attempted to make a case that the teen was stabbed.

McGuffin has maintained all along that he looked for Freeman throughout the night, but never saw her after she left the Mitchell's.

Throughout the trial, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier described the couple's relationship as troubled. In closing arguments Monday morning, he told jurors, "Under the right conditions, it could erupt and did erupt into violence. The pressure, the fighting, the teenaged emotions ... erupted into a catastrophe that ended the life of Leah Freeman."

Rather than looking for Freeman, Frasier said, McGuffin was covering up his crime. He theorized that McGuffin pulled a struggling Freeman into his 1967 Mustang, causing her to lose her first shoe. The blood on her second shoe may have come from a bloody lip or nose caused during the struggle.

Freeman screamed, Frasier said, referring to a scream one witness reporting hearing that night. "In order to keep her quiet, he strangles her." McGuffin then changed clothing and cars and dumped the body, he said.

Over the years, McGuffin grew arrogant, making statements at various times that amount to a confession, he said.

In the past days, jurors heard from David Brakefield who claimed McGuffin once told him, "I strangled the bitch and I'll kill you, too."

Another witness told police McGuffin boasted, "It's amazing what you can get away with in Coos County."

Defense attorney Shaun McCrae told a vastly different story, referring to it as the "A tale of two star-crossed lovers, Prince Charming and Babydoll ..." noting the nicknames McGuffin and Freeman had for each other.

"Nick was her guardian," McCrae said. "He took that responsibility seriously. He was protective of her and he was defensive of her."

She discredited Brakefield's testimony as not trustworthy and suggested he came forward all these years later, hoping to cash in on the $10,000 reward. McGuffin's comment about what one can get away with Coos County was merely sarcasm, she said.

McCrae compared her client to a real life MacGuffin – a term used in films for an object that characters will pursue at any cost, which, in the end, turns out not to be of significance.

"There is no DNA that connects Nick McGuffin," McCrae said. "No blood in the car. Not one trace, not one iota, not one scintilla. Nick McGuffin is the MacGuffin. The bottom line here is the state has not proven the case. If you find Nick McGuffin guilty, the case is closed. They (the state) needs to use this forensic evidence and keep comparing it until they find out who killed Leah. This is what we all want, justice for Leah."

In his final comments, Frasier told jurors he would paraphrase a prosecutor from a cold case in Mississippi.

"I am asking you to act boldly, to hold the defendant accountable for what he did to Leah Freeman," he said. "It is right, it is just and Lord knows it is about time. It is never too late to do the right thing. The right thing is to find the defendant guilty."http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/07/fate_of_nick_mcguffin_coquille_man_accused_of_murdering_leah_freeman_now_in_hands_of_coos_county_jur.html
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Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:30 am

7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!! - Page 3 Work_410

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Post by michelle_ellis on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:47 am

My heart is breaking for you tonight Cory - you are so strong, but I cannot imagine how tortuous this trial is for you and your family. I am praying that the jury will agree with what seems so obvious and rule for a conviction. Regardless of what happens, you are an incredible woman and a wonderful mother - you have been merciless in seeking justice for Leah, when many others may have given up.

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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:05 am

Cory sends her love to all of you who have been so supportive all these years. She wanted me to let you all know she is okay. She promised to be back to posting as soon as she can. Group Hug
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Post by jeanne1807 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:35 am

lindamarie wrote:Cory sends her love to all of you who have been so supportive all these years. She wanted me to let you all know she is okay. She promised to be back to posting as soon as she can. Group Hug

Thank you LM. I keep thinking about her and what she is going through. Give her our love!
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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:33 am

Is Nicholas McGuffin the haunted boyfriend pursued by the state at the expense of finding Leah Freeman's real killer? Or is he an arrogant killer, whose anger escalated to violence and murder during a lover's quarrel?

Those are the possibilities jurors must now consider nine days into the murder trial of McGuffin, accused of killing Leah Freeman, 15, on a summer night in 2000. The jurors went into deliberations at about 3:15 p.m. Monday and left the courthouse about 5:45 p.m. without reaching a verdict.

McGuffin, 18 at the time of Freeman's death and now 29, is charged with murder.

Freeman went missing June 28, 2000, after leaving her girlfriend Cherie Mitchell's Coquille home in a huff. Mitchell's mother had denied the girls' request to go jogging, which led to some tough talk about how Cherie Mitchell and her mother Peggy Mitchell felt about Freeman's choice of McGuffin for a boyfriend.

More
The Oregonian’s continuing coverage of the death of Leah Freeman and the trial of Nicholas McGuffin.One of Freeman's shoes was found later that night; the other, splattered with blood, a week later.

Then, on Aug. 3, 2000, Freeman's decomposed body was found down a steep embankment thick with trees and undergrowth. The cause of death was never determined, though the state maintains she was likely strangled. The defense team, however, attempted to make a case that the teen was stabbed.

McGuffin has maintained all along that he looked for Freeman throughout the night, but never saw her after she left the Mitchell's.

Throughout the trial, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier described the couple's relationship as troubled. In closing arguments Monday morning, he told jurors, "Under the right conditions, it could erupt and did erupt into violence. The pressure, the fighting, the teenaged emotions ... erupted into a catastrophe that ended the life of Leah Freeman."

Rather than looking for Freeman, Frasier said, McGuffin was covering up his crime. He theorized that McGuffin pulled a struggling Freeman into his 1967 Mustang, causing her to lose her first shoe. The blood on her second shoe may have come from a bloody lip or nose caused during the struggle.

Freeman screamed, Frasier said, referring to a scream one witness reporting hearing that night. "In order to keep her quiet, he strangles her." McGuffin then changed clothing and cars and dumped the body, he said.

Over the years, McGuffin grew arrogant, making statements at various times that amount to a confession, he said.

In the past days, jurors heard from David Brakefield who claimed McGuffin once told him, "I strangled (her) and I'll kill you, too."

Another witness told police McGuffin boasted, "It's amazing what you can get away with in Coos County."

Defense attorney Shaun McCrae told a vastly different story, referring to it as the "A tale of two star-crossed lovers, Prince Charming and Babydoll ..." noting the nicknames McGuffin and Freeman had for each other.

"Nick was her guardian," McCrae said. "He took that responsibility seriously. He was protective of her and he was defensive of her."

She discredited Brakefield's testimony as not trustworthy and suggested he came forward all these years later, hoping to cash in on the $10,000 reward. McGuffin's comment about what one can get away with Coos County was merely sarcasm, she said.

McCrae compared her client to a real life MacGuffin – a term used in films for an object that characters will pursue at any cost, which, in the end, turns out not to be of significance.

"There is no DNA that connects Nick McGuffin," McCrae said. "No blood in the car. Not one trace, not one iota, not one scintilla. Nick McGuffin is the MacGuffin. The bottom line here is the state has not proven the case. If you find Nick McGuffin guilty, the case is closed. They (the state) needs to use this forensic evidence and keep comparing it until they find out who killed Leah. This is what we all want, justice for Leah."

In his final comments, Frasier told jurors he would paraphrase a prosecutor from a cold case in Mississippi.

"I am asking you to act boldly, to hold the defendant accountable for what he did to Leah Freeman," he said. "It is right, it is just and Lord knows it is about time. It is never too late to do the right thing. The right thing is to find the defendant guilty."

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Post by Slys Hunny on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:12 am

Thanks for the update on Cory. Shes been on my mind all the time. I m glad shes holding up well.
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Post by charminglane on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:54 am

I so appreciate hearing that Cory is staying strong.
Thank you!
Also to Cory for taking the time for the update!
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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:47 pm

Nick's family and Leah's family huddled on either side of the Coos County courtroom door Monday evening.
Some cried. Some hugged. Some, finally, went home.
"This is always the hardest part," Robert McCrea's paralegal Maryann Howard told some of McGuffin's family sitting on benches in the courthouse hallways.
They are all waiting to hear the fate of Nick McGuffin. It is unknown how long the jury will deliberate, weighing the evidence from both prosecution and defense to decide if McGuffin killed his girlfriend, Leah Freeman, 11 years ago.
The jury began deliberations a little before 3:30 p.m., shortly after closing statements. It started up again this morning at 8:45 a.m.

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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:13 pm

7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!! - Page 3 Acory

Cory Courtright listens to witness testimony July 8. No matter which verdict the jury decides, Courtright says she will be satisfied that she did her best to bring justice for her daughter, Leah Freeman.

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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:20 pm

A page from Nick McGuffin's yearbook is seen. The prosecution argued the heart represents McGuffin's passionate, troubled attachment to Leah Freeman

7/19 - Nick McGuffin guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman/ Nicholas McGuffin sentenced to 10 years/ Judge will hear McGuffin's motion on 9/9/2011/BREAKING NEWS: JUDGE WILL NOT ALLOW A NEW TRIAL!!!!! - Page 3 Acory1

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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:29 pm

Nick McGuffin has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter in the death of Leah Freeman.

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Normal Manslaughter:

Post by charminglane on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:35 pm

The unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice. The unlawful killing of a human being without any deliberation, which may be involuntary, in the commission of a lawful act without due caution and circumspection.

Manslaughter is a distinct crime and is not considered a lesser degree of murder. The essential distinction between the two offenses is that malice aforethought must be present for murder, whereas it must be absent for manslaughter. Manslaughter is not as serious a crime as murder. On the other hand, it is not a justifiable or excusable killing for which little or no punishment is imposed.

At Common Law, as well as under current statutes, the offense can be either voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter. The main difference between the two is that voluntary manslaughter requires an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm while involuntary manslaughter does not. Premeditation or deliberation, however, are elements of murder and not of manslaughter. Some states have abandoned the use of adjectives to describe different forms of the offense and, instead, simply divide the offense into varying degrees.

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Post by charminglane on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:37 pm

He is responsible.
Prayers to Leah, Cory, Denise and all of their family.
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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:39 pm

In a ten to two vote the jury found Nicholas McGuffin guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter in the 2000 death of Leah Freeman. McGuffin is reported to have leapt several inches above his chair when the verdict was read.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:46 pm

I am not one to like posting from other blogsites in general and especially from this lady, BUT she had a great post on what went down during closing arguments and I have to say that I think this sums it up in a NUTSHELL!!

Witness testimony for the defense took only a couple of days but counselors Robert and Shaun McCrea did not most of their battling on behalf of Nicholas McGuffin during the cross examination of prosecution witnesses. They tirelessly picked away at any inconsistency in statements given back in 2000 versus grand jury testimony last year and now at the trial. It was reasonable strategy although their own witnesses had the suffered the same conditions with long lapses in time. Occasionally, the team of McCrea and McCrea were so determined to drill home a point about Nick’s Mustang or a witness waiting to coming forward for several years that it almost came across as insulting to the jury, as if team McCrea didn’t think them bright enough to have gotten the point. Nevertheless, if standing trial for a murder, you would be hard pressed to obtain better counsel.
After mentioning yesterday that McGuffin had lost his easy manner I witnessed him smiling again this morning although it didn’t last long. As DA Paul Frasier described what the prosecution believes is a likely scenario of the events of June 28, 2000, McGuffin’s demeanor, breathing and posture markedly changed as he began to tremble slightly and was forced to wipe his eyes and nose repeatedly.
Frasier read aloud journal entries and letters written by Leah Freeman about her relationship with McGuffin and described a relationship in trouble. “I love him but not enough to put up with how he treats me” says one entry. “You depress me” says another.
He reasoned that a rift began between the couple when McGuffin dropped her off at her friend Cheri Mitchell’s house. A witness claims to have seen the couple in front of Mitchell’s house shortly after she and her friend parted ways and Frasier surmises that Leah, already upset after arguing with Mitchell, described her argument with Mitchell in detail and then rebuffed her boyfriend and he let her out at McKay’s market where she began her walk down Central Avenue toward home.
Many witnesses saw her along the way and one very young witness thought she saw Leah at about 9:30 PM being forcibly pulled into a dark car with a dim headlight near Elm Street across from the high school and the prosecution asserts Freeman lost a shoe in the process. Frasier does not believe that McGuffin planned to kill Freeman but thinks McGuffin proceeded up Elm Street toward the Haga house where his friend Brent Bartley was barbecuing.
An argument ensued that resulted in Leah’s death. McGuffin panicked, according to Frasier, and so began a night of pretending to look for Leah while actually disposing of her body.

The defense painted McGuffin as devoted to Leah and that he saw himself as her guardian. Shaun McCrea argued that prosecution witnesses were simply not reliable and that defense testimony provided a timeline whereby McGuffin simply could not have been involved in Leah’s death. They also worked to cast suspicion on witnesses Austin Fisher and Raymond Lewis as well as focusing on the lack of physical evidence linking McGuffin to the murder.
On final redirect Frasier disputed many of the inferences and speculations offered by McCrea reminding the panel that the jury instructions expressly forbid speculating.
All in all, both sides are relying on circumstantial evidence to make their case, the defense just as much as the prosecution. As I have said before, I would not want to be a juror in this trial.http://mgx.com/blogs/2011/07/18/people-vs-mcguffin-closing-arguments-recap/
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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:01 pm

COQUILLE, Ore. - A jury found a man accused of killing his high school girlfriend in 2000 not guilty of murder but guilty of first-degree manslaughter.
Nick McGuffin was on trial for the death of 15-year-old Leah Freeman in 2000.
Officers from the Coquille Police Department and Coos County Sheriff's Office lined both sides of the courtroom as the verdict came down around 11 o'clock Tuesday.
As the judge read the verdict, McGuffin broke down into tears. His hands were shaking as he brought a tissue to his face.
Freeman's mother, Cory Courtright, cried as the verdict was read.
The jury found McGuffin not guilty of murder by a vote of 10-2.
They jury found McGuffin guilty of manslaughter by a vote of 10-2.
Sentencing hearing is set for August 1. He faces a 10-year prison sentence under Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
Freeman disappeared in June 2000 when she was 15 years old.
Initially reported as a possible runaway and later a missing person, the discovery of her body off the side of a rural road in August 2000 shifted the case to homicide.
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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:02 pm

Nick McGuffin has been found not guilty of murder in the death of Leah Freeman, but guilty of manslaughter.
The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning the verdict shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
A crying and shaking McGuffin mouthed "I love you" to his mother, Kathy McGuffin, and the mother of his child, who both left the courtroom in tears.
Freeman's mother, Cory Courtright, sobbed so hard she had to be helped from the courtroom after the verdict was announced.
The manslaughter charge was a lesser included offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1.
Read more in Wednesday's World.

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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:14 pm

Wow I had no clue Manslaughter was even a possibility. So that means the jury did not believe he killed Leah on purpose but by accident? I will take this over "not guilty."
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Post by jeanne1807 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:23 pm

WOW! I don't know what to say. Murder is murder. Was this 10 year sentence justice for Leah's life?. I am processing this and anxious to hear how Cory feels about it when she is able to come back to us.

Bless you Cory!
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Post by lisette on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:30 pm

It says that 10 years is the mandatory minimum sentence...maybe he'll get more. praying
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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:32 pm

At least Nick isn't free to roam the world with Casey.

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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:35 pm

A jury found a man accused of killing his high school girlfriend in 2000 not guilty of murder but guilty of first-degree manslaughter.

Nick McGuffin was on trial for the death of 15-year-old Leah Freeman in 2000.

Officers from the Coquille Police Department and Coos County Sheriff's Office lined both sides of the courtroom as the verdict came down around 11 o'clock Tuesday.

As the judge read the verdict, McGuffin broke down into tears. His hands were shaking as he brought a tissue to his face.

Freeman's mother, Cory Courtright, cried as the verdict was read.

The jury found McGuffin not guilty of murder by a vote of 10-2.

They jury found McGuffin guilty of manslaughter by a vote of 10-2.

Sentencing hearing is set for August 1. He faces a 10-year prison sentence under Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Freeman disappeared in June 2000 when she was 15 years old.

Initially reported as a possible runaway and later a missing person, the discovery of her body off the side of a rural road in August 2000 shifted the case to homicide.

Another 10 years would pass before a grand jury would indict Freeman's boyfriend at the time, McGuffin (at right), and charge him with her murder.

Prosecutors argued McGuffin was upset Freeman was not spending time with him on the night she dissappeared.

"The volatile mix of those two individuals came to a violent end with Leah Freeman's life being taken," Erika Soublet, Coos County's chief deputy district attorney, said in her opening statement.

The defense said the prosecution's time frame just didn't match up.

"The evidence will show that no one saw Nick catch up with Leah at anytime along the road," defense attorney Shaun McCrea told the jury from the outset.

Freeman's cause of death was never determined beyond "homicidal violence," according to medical experts who testified at the trial.

Prosecutors called a number of friends of the two to testify about their behavior at the time. The testimony painted a picture of a drug- and sex-soaked South Coast community of young people at the turn of the century.

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Post by lisette on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:38 pm

BJ wrote:
At least Nick isn't free to roam the world with Casey.
I know, BJ, at least he was found guilty of SOMETHING!!
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Post by Nama on Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:45 pm

lisette wrote:
BJ wrote:
At least Nick isn't free to roam the world with Casey.
I know, BJ, at least he was found guilty of SOMETHING!!
Nick will be almost 40 or older when he's released from prison. He'll be middle aged, he won't have worked for at least 10 years....he'll have no resume; where is he going to get a job? The mother of his children will more than likely find someone to take his place. It's not going to be as easy to resume life as he knew it. I guess we have to be satisfied with that. It is what it is and the manslaughter verdict is better than nothing.

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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:02 pm

by lindamarie Today at 12:14 pm

Wow I had no clue Manslaughter was even a possibility. So that means the jury did not believe he killed Leah on purpose but by accident? I will take this over "not guilty."

I agree
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Post by raine1953 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:44 pm

I agree with all of you that this manslaughter verdict is better than a 'not guilty'. I hope he gets more than the minimum time but at least ten years guarantees that he won't be out enjoying life anymore. Hopefully his friends and gf will move on and when he's out he'll have no one.
Many prayers for Cory right now.
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Post by jeanne1807 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:50 pm

I don't know. I am very upset this afternoon. Leah is gone. She will never have her chance to live her life as she would have done.

Are we a country that now "settles" for manslaughter in the murder of a young girl?

Sorry but I am not ready to cave into that thinking.

Leah is gone. Nick did it. He should pay with his freedom or his life..

I just can't accept settling. I just can't.
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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:57 pm

I am trying to be grateful he did not walk. Not guilty would have been so much worse. But your right. Leah did not get to live her life. To have children of her own. It some how don't seem enough that he might get out in 10 years. He got to have his children. I would hope they would be grown adults that moved on with their lives before Nick ever gets out.
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Post by Guest on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:04 pm

I forgot to mention that I called Wrap right after BJ posted the verdict. (thanks BJ your the best) She has been feeling poorly and will be on later tonight.
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Post by mommyof3kids on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:25 pm

LM, I PM'd you! OMG, I am sad to hear wrap is ill, PLEASE tell her I am thinking about her!!!!! butterfly
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Post by prayerbone on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi Guys sorry been away so long been a real busy time in my life with work and what not!!

Sending Cory a big hug xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Manslaughter here means he didnt go out with a plan to kill Leah, that it was a spontaneous action etc....

Im hoping he might confess, when he appears for sentencing!!

Anyhow love to u all muahxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and a bigger muah to Cory cause shes cuter :p xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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