Elizabethtown, KY – A Hardin County Circuit Court jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of Joshua Cottrell.
Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Shaw said in closing arguments Monday 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 said Cottrell beat and choked Phillips and dumped his body into a suitcase. Shaw said Cottrell should have walked away if Phillips was making advances at 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.
The jury has several options. Cottrell could be convicted of murder, first or second degree manslaughter or he could be acquitted.