The verdict is in: William Nutter found guilty of voluntary manslaughter

WTAP News @ 11
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 18, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Friday marked the last day of the William Nutter murder trial and the verdict is in.

William Nutter has been found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, guilty of illegally possessing a firearm, and not guilty of domestic battery.

Nutter fatally shot his brother Charles Ryan Cottle on Mother’s Day of 2020.

Prosecution painted Cottle as a hero, protecting his mother May. Nutter, on the other hand, was portrayed as the aggressor, allegedly punching his mother in the face because of an argument, which led to Cottle attacking Nutter with a bar.

Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said to the jurors, “She is not a big woman - not nearly compared to the defendant. If he hits her, it’s going to do some damage,”

The defense team, however, said Nutter did not punch his mother in the face, pointing at Cottle for escalating an argument between Nutter and their mom.

Defense Attorney Joe Munoz said to the jurors, “I submit to you today that his actions did escalate that situation and aggravated a bad situation between Billy and his mom into something deadly.”

As the defense and prosecutor pointed out, both stories couldn’t exist at the same time.

The defense team called in to question the credibility of multiple witnesses, including Nutter’s mother.

“He grabbed this bar and, according to May, out of his room and I guess invisibly flew down the steps after Billy, according to May’s testimony,” Munoz said, referencing the weapon Cottle struck Nutter with.

Lefebure later rebutted, “She hits her head off the doorframe, this happens immediately. She says she was dazed. She told you the best she could. She heard Ryan grab something. I think she described it as metallic.”

The prosecution pointed to an expert witnesses’ testimony which explored the possibility of the gun malfunctioning. Lefebure said that it adds up with the mother’s testimony that she heard one pause in the middle of multiple shots fired.

The defense was not on board.

Munoz said, “They keep trying to sell you on this stove-piping argument when their own expert says he can’t tell you whether it happened or not.”

Prosecution used that theory to back up their claim that Nutter had enough time to think for the killing to be considered premeditated, since he had to deal with the issue.

Multiple other arguments came into play, including whether or not Nutter lied about how close he was to Cottle when he shot him and whether or not it made sense how many things in rooms weren’t knocked over from the brothers’ struggle.

Nutter has been taken back into custody. His sentencing is scheduled for June 15th at 2 PM.

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