The Associated Press
BRUNSWICK, Ga. —
An investigator testified Saturday that a man charged with killing eight people inside a mobile home near Brunswick was seeking drugs and money when he entered the crowded residence.
Glynn County Lt. William Daras portrayed defendant Guy Heinze Jr. as the man responsible for the beating deaths.
“Let me be clear: I believe that Mr. Heinze killed these people,” Daras testified.
The 26-year-old defendant faces the death penalty if convicted of killing his father and seven others in their cramped home just outside of Brunswick on Aug. 29, 2009. In addition to his father, 46-year-old Guy Heinze Sr., the defendant is accusing of killing 44-year-old Russell Toler Sr., his son Michael Toler and three other of his children, the elder Toler’s sister, and the boyfriend of one of Toler’s children.
In court Saturday, defense attorney Newell Hamilton asked Daras, “What’s the motive for Mr. Heinze killing his loved ones, sir?”
“My belief is he came back to that trailer at some point that night, wanted those pills from Michael Toler, got into a confrontation with Russell Toler Sr.,” which eventually led to the beating deaths, he testified, according to The Brunswick News.
Daras said that belief is supported by only one victim, Russell Toler Sr., having any money on him and Heinze having $391 when he was arrested.
During the cross-examination, Daras said he didn’t initially believe Heinze was involved in the slayings, but the evidence began to add up. He said. Henize had blood on his khaki pants that didn’t match the blood of three victims found on gym shorts he was wearing under the pants. The lieutenant said Henize also had a cell phone with a victim’s blood in the car he was driving, yet he had no blood on his hands.
During the investigation, Heinze told officers he touched some of the victims when he found them at the bloody crime scene, but the investigator said the explanation didn’t make sense.
“If he goes back and forth to every room, how did he have no blood on the bottom of his shoes?” Daras said.
Heinze’s attorney contends the charges are the result of shoddy police work and a rush to focus on Heinze as the sole suspect.
The Florida Times-Union reported that under questioning, Daras acknowledged that officers went into the mobile home without wearing thin, white suits to prevent contamination of the crime scene.
“I have no evidence there was any cross-contamination of this scene. Is it possible? Yes,” Daras said.
Brunswick Judicial Circuit Judge Stephen Scarlett does not plan to hear testimony on Sunday.