Shotgun focus at Heidt hearing

Craig Heidt
Craig Heidt

EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Defense attorneys for Craig Heidt said Monday that information about a shotgun being taken to a man for cleaning was never presented to them by state prosecutors.

That gun was delivered by Robin Heidt just days before Craig Heidt was indicted on murder charges.

Craig Heidt was found guilty on Dec. 9, 2010, for killing his father and brother, and shooting 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.

Carey Heidt's wife, Robin, had testified at the murder trial that she had an affair with Craig Heidt.

Carey Heidt's five shotguns were an issue out of the fear for Robin Heidt's life. Those guns were the topic at Monday's hearing.

Prosecutors had said they believe Craig Heidt had used a Remington 870 shotgun with a woodgrain handle during the shootings, which was never found.

A shotgun from Carey Heidt, one of the five originally turned into authorities, had black synthetic handles, according to court records.

The defense argued that they were never told that the 870 Remington shotgun had been turned into the sheriff's office during the trial. The shotgun was delivered to David Dumas, a Heidt family friend who agreed to clean the shotgun for Robin Heidt.

It was also one of the five shotguns belonging to Carey Heidt, which were later returned to the family.

Dumas testified Monday that he arrived with Craig Heidt's brother Chris Heidt, separately to take that shotgun to the sheriff's office. Dumas was on the witness list for the murder trial last year, but never testified.

Dumas testified at Monday's hearing that he delivered that shotgun to Effingham County Sheriff's Office. He said when realized it was a 870 Remington shotgun delivered by Robin Heidt, who herself was a suspect in the murders, he had a sick feeling and immediately took it to authorities.

The defense argued that the shotgun could have been used in the shooting.

The state says the handing over of the guns didn't have anything to do with the case. They said they didn't have to tell the defense about it, since the casing were never found and there was no way to test the guns.

The state said the gun was ruled out as a valid piece of evidence since the gun they were looking for belonged to Craig Heidt, not Carey, and was a 870 Remington shotgun with woodgrain stock, not a black synthetic stock.

The Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said he did tell the defense about it.

Heidt family members were in the courtroom for Monday's hearing.

The state has a until Jan. 27 to respond to the motion for a new trial. The defense will then have until Feb. 17 to respond to the state.

A decision from Judge Gates Peed could come at the end of February, but is not likely.

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