Jurors find Craig Heidt guilty

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

SPRINGFIELD, GA (WTOC) - Jurors have found Craig Heidt guilty for killing his father and brother, and almost killing his mother. He was found guilty on two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of criminal intent to commit arson in the first degree and three counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Philip and Carey Heidt were gunned down in their beds two years ago. Linda was shot in the face, but survived.

For the past two weeks, jurors heard the evidence, listened to the testimony, and on Thursday both the state and defense had one last time to make their case.

Prosecutor Michael Muldrew told jurors: "There's not a shred of evidence that anybody other than the defendant committed this crime, all the evidence points to him."

Heidt's attorney Dow Bonds doesn't agree saying, "No physical evidence that directly links Craig Heidt to this crime has been presented."

Heidt's attorney Dow Bonds argued in his closing statements argued that the state deliberately left out key evidence, like the letter from Philip Heidt to Craig. "It shows you this father son relationships in not what the state would lead you to believe. They hid it from you," said Bonds.

A statement that outraged Muldrew. "We no more hid this letter from you than we hid it from them," said Muldrew about not withholding the letter from the defense or the jurors. "They got everything we got. They got hundreds and hundreds of pictures. They've seen the boxes of evidence. They have seen the bags of evidence. We brought in what was relevant."

Muldrew goes on to say, "What he hid from you ladies and gentlemen was this letter was written August 10 and he hid from you that this letter was never given to the defendant."

Bonds also gave jurors another possible motive for the killings. "A business man being in debt and the pressure on him for $10 to $15 million in debt is motive to kill a family, maybe to make a point. They said no one stood to gain, no business partners. Maybe this is a professional job," said Bonds.

Again Muldrew couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Ladies and gentlemen if you think that some cattle partner from Ohio came down to Georgia and killed them, then we just need to burn down the courthouse because there is no reason to have court if something that silly can be quote a reasonable doubt," he said.

But the defense kept pointing out that the state has no physical evidence. "There was no evidence that he tried to clean anything off his clothes or truck or residence. No footprints linking him to the crime. No fingerprints linking him to this crime. No surveillance video, no DNA, no gunshot residue, and no confession," said Bonds.

Muldrew says the state has plenty. He said the state has the gun. He showed jurors a picture of Craig Heidt holding a 12-gauge shotgun, the same shotgun Craig claims was stolen the night of the killings.

Muldrew pointed out, only a family member would know where the Heidt's hid their spare key, the same key that was used to gain access to the home.

Muldrew also said the state has DNA, the bruises found on Craig's arms just days after the murders.  Bruises the state say were caused from firing a shotgun. As for the gunshot residue, Muldrew had an answer for that as well. "What kind of person takes a shower after they are called by their close friend and tells them about the murder," asked Muldrew. "Maybe somebody who needed to get something off their hands, like gunshot residue."

Bonds told jurors to clearly look at the evidence when they are deliberating the case. He told them if they feel he may have done this or that he may have been involved, or that he possibly committed this crime, that that's not good enough in a court of law. "The prosecution is trying its case the old fashioned way. You create a theme. You put a name on it. You call it money and lost. Then you attach a biblical references to it so you dig deep into people's emotions because they know if they don't have enough hard evidence to convict they can get the jurors to decide the case by being disgusted about the fact that a man had an affair with his brother's wife," said Bonds.

Muldrew says in the 20 years he's been an attorney he has never heard a more ridiculous closing argument.

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