72ºF

Could Guy Heinze Jr. get a new trial?

Judge agrees to hear arguments for a new trial

Photo taken of Guy Heinze Jr. during initial trial.
Photo taken of Guy Heinze Jr. during initial trial.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The judge presiding over the case of Guy Heinze Jr. has set a hearing date to discuss a motion for a new trial. Attorneys for Heize Jr. argue there were errors in the initial trial, warranting a new trial.

Heinze Jr. was found guilty October 2013 in the beating deaths of his father and seven others in a Glynn County mobile home more than four years prior to trial. A 3-year-old child survived the attack.

In addition to life in prison, Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett sentenced Heinze to an additional 26 years on a count of aggravated battery and two counts of drug possession.

A motion filed by Heinze's attorney cites multiple errors in the trial including...

  • "Mr. Heinze should be granted a new trial because the evidence was not sufficient for a rational trier of fact to find the Mr. Heinze guilty of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt."
  • "The jurors that were empaneled in the trial of this case failed to comply with the instructions that the Court charged."
  • "Mr. Heinze should be granted a new trial because the State violated the reciprocal discovery statute and Mr. Heinze's constitutionally protected rights by destroying evidence."

During the initial trial prosecutors said Heinze had been smoking crack cocaine Aug. 29, 2009, when he killed his father and the other victims. Each of the victims died from multiple crushing blows to the head from what police believe was a shotgun barrel, though the murder weapon was never found.

The dead included Heinze's father, Guy Heinze Sr., 45. Rusty Toler Sr., 44, was slain along with his four children: Chrissy Toler, 22; Russell D. Toler Jr., 20; Michael Toler, 19; and Michelle Toler, 15. Also killed was the elder Toler's sister, Brenda Gail Falagan, 49, and Joseph L. West, the 30-year-old boyfriend of Chrissy Toler. Her then 3-year-old son, Byron Jimerson Jr., ended up the sole survivor but suffered severe head injuries.

The hearing to discuss a new trial has been scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 13, 2018 at the Glynn County Courthouse.