Right now the final accounting of the Willard Cottrill Estate is being considered by the Gilmer County Commission. A surprising honorable mention goes out to the fiduciary commissioner who was given the difficult task of gathering all the documents and filing all the necessary elements that need to be considered in the final accounting of an estate that is in dispute and talked about daily in Gilmer County among citizens — To say the matter of the Willard Cottrill Estate is a hot topic would be quite an understatement indeed.

The investigation into the non-investigation of the Willard Cottrill alleged wrongful death is continuing, but the article is delayed while certain facts and documents are being verified. It appears that Deputy Wheeler of Gilmer County along with the prosecutor of said county have made special efforts to NOT investigate the allegations of murder, and further have made a special effort to do absolutely nothing and just say there is an investigation. At any rate, any reasonable person will be shocked with the facts that are exposed soon by the Council of Concerned Citizens when that TRUE ACCOUNT of GILMER COUNTY CORRUPTION is published for all to see and hear coming soon to a FREE PRESS publication near you.

And now, without further delay, if you never ever heard of the Cottrill Estate debacle and you are from WV read this article below first published at the end of 2013 to get the facts about a serious crime, that Gilmer County officials feel will go away with time — And further, that we will all eventually forget.

Will YOU forget? 

G-LtE™: The Murder of Willard Cottrill Part One – For the Love of Money, Property and Greed!

It will be very hard to keep trying to forgive the local public officials in Gilmer County, after GFP readers absorb the facts involving the Willard Cottrill Estate and this tale of murder, and killing in the name of money and property in Linn, West Virginia.

The Gilmer Free Press
It has been found out the people holding up the murder investigation are our very own elected officials. At first it was previous Gilmer County Sheriff Mickey Metz who has finally found a job that suited him, selling used cars along with another person that has been through this ploy of keeping the investigation open until people forget – while conducting no investigation at all – and that is The Gilmer County Prosecutor Gerald B Hough.

How can you forgive anyone for the misery brought by the Gilmer County Prosecuting attorney Gerry Hough for once again fooling the public and the Gilmer County Commission into thinking there is an investigation into the death of Willard Cottrill for three long years, just like he fooled the public into thinking there was an investigation into the murder of Fred Hill. The only law enforcement officer investigating the murder of Willard Cottrill has been Deputy Mike Wheeler whose duties mostly include being a traffic cop.

Some people are saying that Gilmer Prosecutor does not have the knowledge to even know how to prosecute a murder case, starting out his career by working for I** M***** and MIKE R**S in the courthouse, searching title and deeds and oil rights and leases for a couple of rich men looking to get richer. That of course was back in the day when Gilmer Prosecutor got caught for his FERPA violation of a rape victim while defending the alleged rapist GSC football star QB.

Our Prosecutor came close to losing his license to practice law for that Ferpa Violation, but the Office of Disciplinary Counsel decided to just fine him $400 since he had only been a lawyer for a little more than a month before being caught in the act of misconduct. In addition to the fine, GSC denied him a raise that everyone else got, and he had to write a letter admitting that he lied about the incident the first time he was questioned by the ODC.

Back in those early days, when Hough worked for I** M***** and Mike R**s, R**s was a state senator that fell out of favor and lost an election. All of the sudden a West Virginia State Delegate was by some miracle killed in a convenient car crash and was DOA.  At that point in time Governor Manchin being connected tightly with I** M***** appointed his business partner Mike R*** that vacant position the now dead delegate held—And so it goes in a county called Gilmer. M***** and R*** back in business with Gerry Hough doing the research.

Three years ago, Sheriff Metz did nothing to investigate that murder of Willard Cottrill and never even saw Marlea Cottrill Willard’s oldest daughter, who asked for the investigation into the wrongful death of her father.

Now the matter has been inherited by the Gilmer County’s current sheriff, who also has done not one thing to investigate the murder of Cottrill, and recently made a statement that drew many a red flag from law enforcement professionals.

Sheriff Gerwig said it was the witnesses to the murder against the word of those accused of the murder. Professional law enforcement officers asked to help on this case stated, that by that statement alone they showed the cards in their hands at the Gilmer County Sheriff’s office, and that the current Sheriff is fully involved in a cover up, by order, coming from above him and that would be the prosecutor Gerald B Hough.

The local Sheriff’s office under the leadership of Sheriff Larry Gerwig, the Gilmer County Commission, and the Gilmer County Clerk are once again neck deep in a murder that is as disturbing a murder—and as blatant of a cover up—as the FRED HILL, No Foul Play,” display of debauchery and misconduct! Why? Because they all follow the Gilmer County Prosecutor’s advice.

Sheriff Gerwig makes a statement that implicates him in the MURDER conspiracy of WILLARD COTTRILL- Professional detective given information.

Criminal Intent was shown by Sheriff Gerwig this past week, as several witnesses to the Willard Cottrill MURDER attempted to file criminal complaints.
Sheriff Gerwig refused to take the complaints and said, “I do believe there was a murder, but it is your word against theirs!”

The Gilmer Free Press
As soon as the Sheriff said, “I do believe there was a murder …” in front of witnesses he showed criminal intent and now the Cottrill murder case is busted wide open.

Immediately within a very short time that quote by Sheriff made Wednesday November the 13th was shared with a detective, and the result was the Sheriff could very well be charged with a crime now involving conspiracy to commit murder.

The detective said,“It is a matter of police procedure under normal conditions to take all complaints involving a murder investigation!”

“The complaint is taken and investigated”

“This small town Sheriff Gerwig by making that statement has just made himself the JUDGE and the JURY as soon as he said, He believes there was a murder, but it was Ruth Mitchell’s word against theirs!”

“Well that statement implicates him in criminal conduct!”

“As police officers you take the complaint and investigate the complaint — you never make yourself out to be the judge and jury by saying something as stupid as—it is your word against theirs!”

“If the body is exhumed and a great amount of morphine is found to be administered, then this Sheriff should be one of the first arrested.”

It appears someone has been paid to cover up the murder of this unfortunate 73 year old man from Linn, WV.

The detective and investigator monitoring this murder investigation also said, that,“NOBODY CAN TAKE A MURDER INVESTIGATION WITH THEM ON MEDICAL LEAVE!”

He further added, “That an investigation is reassigned if anyone has an extended medical leave as Deputy Wheeler.”

The alleged murder investigation has been drawn out 37 months by Deputy Wheeler who has not interviewed even one witness, and there are several witnesses to the murder, which negates the statement by Sheriff Gerwig.

Deputy Wheeler has done NO INVESTIGATION and now Gerry Hough the prosecutor for Gilmer County and Sheriff Gerwig has Deputy Wheeler hidden out so that he cannot be reached to be questioned by investigators.

Deputy Wheeler also could be implicated in a conspiracy to commit murder by his own actions to be reported at a later date.

This detective said obviously the Gilmer County Sheriff’s office is involved in the murder by drawing out the investigation for no obvious reason and ignoring FOIA requests by the press, for which they may be liable for now.

This detective said, “You should immediately report this matter to the FBI!”

At that time the detective was told that Gerry Hough likely took a bribe from Mike Murphy, after being retained by Sally Bozeat years earlier.

The detective said that the actions of Prosecutor and Sheriff, by extending the investigation for years with excuses that have nothing to do with proper police procedure implicates them both for their criminal involvement in this murder case.

The Day of the MURDER October 20th and the Killers enter the home of Willard CottrillOn the day of the murder of Willard Cottrill, Melvin Cottrill one of Willard’s brothers was celebrating his birthday, but not before Willard got to tell his brother that in his opinion he thought that he was a, “Low down lying thieving bastard,“ those were his exact words according to Ruth Mitchell who was about to go through an event that could very well mark the worst day in her life.

The Gilmer Free Press
Ruth said that Melvin left around 12:30 PM when Venita Cottrill-Murphy, Freda Cottrill and Carol Peterson who is the girlfriend of Jerry Cottrill another brother to Willard, and a hospice nurse only identified as Debbie came in.

Carol Peterson was there to make sure that Ruth Mitchell could not use the phones and guarded the telephone and would not allow Mitchell to call out.  That act is serious violation of civil liberties, and Venita Cottrill is the person that gave that order.

“Make sure that Ruth doesn’t use the phone,” Venita Cottrill instructed Peterson, while Venita also restricted Ruth’s movements in the house, by saying, “Where do you think you are going,” when Ruth attempted to step on the porch.

Ruth Mitchell was then ordered to go sit in the living room, and ordered to sit down and stay down. This is a clear violation of Ruth Mitchell’s civil liberties and those acts by Peterson and Venita Cottrill are criminal.

Venita had just returned with the morphine she had picked up that the local doctor had prescribed. Venita then got herself a piece of birthday cake and she walked over to Willard who had already had at least one beer from an earlier celebration that day and said, “Doesn’t this look good daddy, too bad you can’t have any.”

In investigation of this bizarre tale about a family murder and police cover up, I did discover that Venita never actually lived much of her life with Willard Cottrill, but grew up in the home of Melvin Cottrill, who some say is her real father, and not Willard. Only a DNA test could conclude this fact for sure. However, circumstances mixed with attitude and innuendo coming from someone about to murder another human being that day, leads any reasonable person to believe that indeed Melvin was not only the person that raised Venita, but Melvin very well could possibly be her biological father as well, not Willard as many people have thought.

The Gilmer Free Press
The yellow slip of paper which was used to keep track of the drugs given to Willard that fateful day was found by Josh Holmes a close personal friend of Willard Cottrill’s and the husband to the cousin of Ruth Mitchell, Diana Holmes. The original is being held for evidence, and this evidence indicates that the Gilmer County Sheriff’s office never conducted any investigation into the death of Willard Cottrill, for they were not even interested in the drugs given Willard Cottrill.  I as a person who has investigated this murder case for 19 months have drawn conclusions as to the cause of the NON- INVESTIGATION.

A quote by Deputy Mike Wheeler shortly after the murder of Willard Cottrill may shed some light on this subject, Wheeler said…
“I don’t want to bring Dr. M****r who prescribed the morphine, or “Debbie” the hospice nurse into this murder investigation, for they both have good jobs and I don’t want to ruin their reputations”

Isn’t that nice of Deputy Mike Wheeler, who Gerry Hough and Sheriff Gerwig said was in charge of the investigation. Wheeler who is more or less a traffic cop was allowed to take this entire murder investigation with him on medical leave.

A high ranking detective whose name and contact number are on file with the GFP said,“Never, never in an investigation an officer is allowed to go on medical leave.” Therefore Sheriff and Prosecutor are breaking basic police procedure, so they do not have to answer any questions for the press or give any answers to citizens about a murder they are now caught covering up.

The Local Doctor should immediately have her licensed suspended and complaints should be filed. We only know the hospice nurse by her first name, “Debbie,” we understand Deputy Wheeler knows her last name, and most likely will try to protect this accessory to murder. If you know the last name of this person please bring it forward so that we can give it to the proper federal authority.

You can look on the yellow slip of paper included in this article and you can determine the dose of drugs Willard Cottrill was given along with the time.

For the most part Freda Cottrill held Willard’s head as he struggled moving his head side to side as not to be given the deadly drugs, for Willard was starting to get the idea he was being killed for his money and his property. He must have sensed it early when he told his brother Melvin exactly what he thought of him.

Earlier that day another person to see Willard alive on his last day witnessed the very first dose of drugs being given to him, and here is what he had to say …

The Gilmer Free Press
“I DO BELIEVE THEY KILLED WILLARD, I WAS THERE ON THE DAY HE DIED!”

“I’M Mad because Willard is Gone!”

This man was like a son to Willard and is an expert marksman and hunter like many people in West Virginia. This witness to murder was more like a son to Willard Cottrill than his own sons!

He says he was talking to Willard just hours before he was murdered and said….

“Willard was laying in bed .. I asked him how he felt and he said he felt pretty good !”

“He said he was doin a little better, but that his back hurts.”

“At the time Venita Cottrill said, ‘ I can help you daddy’ .. and then came and gave him a dose of what I now know was morphine!”

“I never saw the man alive again, and I am a little upset about it, just as if it happened yesterday, it feels just as bad now as it did then to lose him.”

“The truth is the truth, and I am not on anybody’s side, not on yours, not on theirs, but the truth will come out and I believe he was killed with drugs on purpose—for the money and his land—and I believe that to be true. Willard Cottrill was a wonderful man and I miss him.”

“The truth is the truth!”

On the 20th of October the day Willard Cottrill was murdered, Venita came back with the hospice nurse to show them how to use the lethal dose of morphine just after Willard had a beer.

The nurse changed her mind at the house and then said, “I cannot show you because I am not authorized,” so she sat on the couch and drew pictures to hide how nervous she was.

Venita took 2 Xanax, and an Oxycodone, crushed it all up good in a spoon, put morphine on top of that and then forced the drug cocktail into the mouth of Willard Cottrill.

Willard kept turning his head from side to side, because just hours earlier he had told Ruth Mitchell he thought his own daughter was going to kill him. Days earlier, Sally Bozeat, the ex wife of Willard told someone on the porch that Venita was really the daughter of Melvin Cottrill, Willard’s brother, and that is why she grew up in the home of Melvin’s house instead of her own fathers house. We are not sure why Sally Bozeat told that story on that particular day, but it made sense to many when it was found out that Venita ordered the morphine, brought the morphine to the house and crushed it up into a cocktail of other drugs mixed with pudding to hide the taste.

The Gilmer Free Press
As Willard moved his head trying to avoid the death dosage, Venita hollered for Freda Cottrill to come hold his head while Venita delivered the deadly dope. They repeated the same act several times clear up until the last dosage, Willard went limber just before 11 PM after getting a deadly dose of drugs for almost 8 hours.

Freda Cottrill was the person that gave Willard the “killing dose,” and then shortly after Freda said he was gone, Venita ask Freda, “My God what do we do?” Freda said, “Let’s get everything cleaned up, and then called Terry Ellyson of Ellyson Mortuary in Glenville, WV.

This entire matter was recorded accurately, for Ruth Mitchell was there and was a witness to it all from the early afternoon until Willard passed around 11 PM on October the 20th.

Terry did not come; Terry’s son came, did not do an examination or declare him dead, against all WV laws and just took him to the mortuary.

The son put him on the gurney wrapped a red blanket around Willard and took him away, there was no goodbye, and on the night Willard Cottrill became just another MURDER in Gilmer County!
Lots of evidence has been gathered and the executor Mike Murphy was taped secretly and that will be provided for GFP readers soon to hear. Murphy stole all the money out of Willard account on the 1st of October, and used some of it to bribe family members. The money bands below are being used for evidence. That action of taking the cash from the bank is highly illegal.

The Gilmer Free Press
(More on the Willard Cottrill Murder will be published soon on the Gilmer Free Press)