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Suitcase Murder Trial
Cottrell Found Guilty of Lesser Charge
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Joshua Cottrell
Joshua Cottrell
Richie Phillips
Richie Phillips
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A Hardin County Circuit Court jury found Joshua Cottrell guilty of second degree manslaughter in the "Suitcase Murder."

The jury deliberated nearly 9 hours Monday before returning the verdict. Cottrell had been charged with murder.

The jury also found him guilty of theft by unlawful taking of more than 300 dollars and tampering with physical evidence.

Cottrell stood as the verdict was read and showed no emotion. He faces five to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter conviction and one to five years on the other counts. All three are felonies.

Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Shaw said in closing arguments that Cottrell intentionally killed Richie Phillips and then tried to cover it up in a cold, calculated way. He said Phillips' sexual orientation was immaterial in the case except for Cottrell's anger toward gay men.

Shaw says Cottrell should have walked away if Phillips had been making advances toward him.

Defense attorney Scott Gravenstadt said earlier the case has nothing to do with the hatred of gays and that it was Phillips' own actions in a motel room that led to his death.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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