Heinze trial update - Oct. 21, 2013
By: Michael Hall
The neighbor of Guy Heinze Jr. who dialed 911 on Aug. 29, 2009, the day eight people who Heinze lived with were found murdered in their trailer at a New Hope Plantation mobile home park, testified today that Heinze seemed like he was in shock when he returned home that morning.
Heinze is accused in Glynn County Superior Court of allegedly killing his father, Guy Heinze Sr., 46, his father’s friend, Russell Toler Sr., 44, and Toler’s children – Chrissy Toler, 22, Russell Toler Jr., 20, Michael Toler, 19, and Michelle Toler, 15. He also is charged in the deaths of family friends Brenda Falagan, 48, and Joseph West, 30, and in the attempted murder of Byron Jimmerson, Chrissy Toler’s son, who was a preschooler at the time.
Margaret Orlinski, a neighbor of Heinze, said he was hysterical when he asked her to call police.
“He was running with his hands up yelling, help, help, help, help,” Orlinski testified in Glynn County Superior Court on the sixth day of the trial.
Orlinski also testified that although Buddy, the dog that lived at the residence with Heinze and the families, was well known for barking, she was never awakened by any kind of commotion during the early morning hours when the murders are likely to have occurred.
During direct examination, Orlinski said it was out of the ordinary to see Heinze driving the Mercury Cougar he was in that morning because the car belonged to Russell Toler Jr., one of the victims. Toler loved the car and rarely let people drive it.
Mike Nixon, another neighbor and a maintenance worker at the trailer park, agreed that rarely did anyone else drive Toler Jr.’s car, but he had seen Russell Toler Sr. and Chrissy Toler, both of whom were victims, driving the car.
“It was (Toler Jr.’s) treasure,” Nixon said of the car.
During cross examination by defense attorney Newell Hamilton, Nixon testified Heinze had driven the car before, but that Russell Toler Jr. was in it at the time.
The prosecution has contended that because Toler Jr. was protective of his car, Heinze driving it the night of the murders gives some indication of his involvement with the killings.
Before testimony on Monday, Glynn County Sheriff’s Deputy Rocky Mortoriet took the stand to inform the court about a juror who told him in the gym at the motel where the sequestered jury is staying that he would be unable to convict Heinze because “there is absolutely no evidence against him.”
Mortoriet continued by telling the court he suspected the same juror, No. 152, had been discussing the case improperly with his wife during family time Sunday and with other jurors.
Brunswick Judicial Judge Stephen Scarlett, who is presiding over the case, reiterated the rules of being on a jury prior to the start of testimony.
The trial was to resume after lunch.
The district attorney is seeking the death penalty.