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Deliberations to continue in morning in GA mobile home slaying case

Guy Heinze Jr. Guy Heinze Jr.
Glynn County Courthouse Glynn County Courthouse

A Glynn County jury has been deliberating for three hours, but deliberations have ended for the night.

Jurors will reconvene at 9 a.m. Thursday.

However, one of those jurors was almost removed at the beginning of the week.

A bailiff told the judge that Juror 152 made a comment about not being able to convict Guy Heinze Jr., 26, based on evidence presented, but the judge ruled the juror would stay.

There 15 jurors and three are alternates. One woman was excused due to a knee injury earlier in the week. The jury is made up of mostly women.

The jury asked a question of the defense team and also for office supplies - including a file folder for evidence and an easel. Those requests might just indicate a long deliberation.

The jury is not watching the Heinze Jr. police interview video or listening to the 911 tapes.

State prosecutors told the jury that the defense cannot beat the evidence in the case of eight slain in August 2009 in a mobile home.

Heinze Jr. is charged with the slaying of his father, aunt, uncle, cousins, and a family friend during a drug-induced rage in 2009. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, and he could face the death penalty if convicted.

The defense painted a picture of a police investigation botched from the beginning of a very complex crime scene.

Newell Hamilton, Heinze Jr.'s defense attorney, said: "The state is not looking for the truth. They are continuing to perpetuate this fraud Glynn County law enforcement has committed on this community by rushing to judgment, by arresting this man, failing to collect evidence and diligently investigate this case."

He said the state has not even come close to meeting their burden of proof in the case. "They have not come close to proving beyond a reasonable doubt that guy killed his family - his loved ones," he said.

The state stressed that police officers have seven days to do their investigation, but the defense had three and a half weeks to review evidence.

Glynn County District Attorney John Johnson points to blood on reversible shorts Heinze Jr. was wearing on the night of the slayings, fingerprints on a document inside a drawer, pills found in the car he was driving, and drugs in his system.

"It's not the perfect investigation according to Mr. Knox, who was paid to say that," Johnson said. "They have the gall to come in and say we won't beat up on law enforcement and then turn around and accuse the police of a criminal conspiracy against the defendant because they can't beat the evidence."

He stressed that their responsibility is to present evidence to prove within reasonable doubt a felony was committed.

"This evidence puts the defendant at the crime scene and there when it occurred," Johnson said. "The defense wants you to believe we rushed to judgement in this case. "That's not the case."

He pointed out Heinze Jr.'s palm print and fingerprint on a document in a drawer.

"Picture of a drawer pulled out and piece of paper in the drawer after the crime. How is the defendant's palm print and victims blood in the drawer if he wasn't there?" He asked.

Johnson said that wasn't discussed by crime scene analyst Michael Knox during testimony because they can't explain it away. Knox testified on Tuesday that the handling of the crime scene by police was botched.

Johnson said Heinze Jr. was looking for the drugs that wound up in the car he was driving and that no one really knows where he was from midnight to 5 a.m. on the night of the slayings.

"He is specific about what he does until 12:30 a.m. Then he doesn't get specific because he was drugged up. But at 5:30 he is specific about where he is again," Johnson said.

He pointed out that a drug dealer in the house who paid $65 for cocaine, but had no money in his pocket. He added that there was no cocaine marijuana in the house, and Heinze Jr. had it all in his system.

Johnson asked: "Why would a gang come in and attack nine people and kill eight of them and then search just one drawer?"

Johnson then ran through the events after the bodies were discovered that night and Heinze's actions thereafter.

He pointed out that if Heinze Jr. was so traumatized, yet he was still able to go into the house and get a shotgun out of the closet, which had blood spatter on it, and had enough common sense to get the gun and put it in the trunk of his car.

"The defendant is so traumatized he gets a gun out of the house because it is stolen?" he said. "Everybody thinks these people were shot, until the defendant tells us on a 911 call made by the neighbor."

Johnson said that in that call Heinze said his whole family is dead, but it looked as if they had been beaten to death.

"He knew they were beaten because he did it," Johnson said. "Before the police officers process anything, they find a cell phone with blood on the face of it - in the car Heinze is driving."

He continued to press that it was Heinze Jr. because he was familiar with the mobile home and not strangers who committed the crime.

Johnson said Heinze Jr. knew that mobile home and how to get around without turning lights on unlike gangsters, who wouldn't know.

"Is there any other evidence to go to any other person? Out of 60,000 people in Glynn - the only person wearing these clothes is the defendant. The only person with the phone; the only person who said my family was beat to death, the only person is that person right there," he said. "That is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. That rules out everybody."

He told the jury: "Do your duty. Do justice. Do the right thing."

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