The hands of the clock in Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett’s courtroom counted off the minutes past 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. before attorneys for the state and for Guy William Heinze Jr. sat for what was supposed to be an evidentiary hearing for a possible new trial.
When the time finally came — at 3:20 p.m. — Heinze defense attorney Christina Rudy requested another continuance to work out whether she could continue as his counsel. Rudy was part of the defense team in Heinze’s 2013 trial, when a jury convicted him of killing his father and seven others in a trailer at the New Hope Plantation mobile home park off U.S. Highway 17 north of Brunswick.
Scarlett opened by saying the continuance request caused him “great frustration,” considering the length of time since the trial, Rudy’s amended motion for a new trial that she filed in November 2017 and the first time the evidentiary hearing was scheduled in February of this year.
He said the issue at hand — whether Rudy could raise the argument of ineffective assistance of counsel — should have been resolved beforehand. Scarlett said he would not issue any pre-ruling on the matter, and advised she contact the State Bar of Georgia for further guidance.
Andrew Ekonomou, representing the prosecution, told the court, “The state shares the court’s enormous frustration,” and is ready to proceed once the court directs them to proceed.
While a fourth hearing date has yet to be set, it will likely be sometime in the second week of July.
In the 2013 trial, prosecutors argued Heinze bludgeoned his murder victims, and assaulted a child, with the barrel of a 20-gauge shotgun. Investigators were unable to recover the suspected weapon.
Prosecutors put forth witnesses and evidence in the 2013 trial detailing that Heinze was high on crack at the time of the killings and went to the mobile home looking for drugs and money, then killed a man he knew as his uncle during an argument, and proceeded to kill nearly everyone else there.
Detectives later found blood on Heinze’s clothes, on a shotgun and mobile phone in his car, as well as a bloody handprint on a document in the trailer.