In a little more than two weeks, Guy William Heinze Jr. will be back in the Glynn County Courthouse for a new hearing on a motion for a new trial. Chief Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett issued the order for his production in court for Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.
Heinze is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the Hancock State Prison in Sparta for killing eight people, including his father, at a mobile home park off U.S. Highway 17 in August 2009. A Glynn County jury returned the guilty verdict in October 2013. In November 2017, Heinze’s attorney at the time filed a motion for a new trial, citing at least 11 different errors committed during his original trial.
A hearing in June ran for hours without action in open court, because the attorneys involved were trying to hash out issues tied to the fact that Heinze’s attorney at the time, Christina Rudy, played a part in his defense during the trial.
She requested another continuance in which to work out problems related to the fact she was a part of the trial team and was attempting to continue to be part of his appellate team. The question at hand was whether she could raise the argument of ineffectiveness of counsel, considering her trial work.
At that June hearing, Scarlett expressed his frustration with the pace of the appellate case, along with noting it was filed four years after the conclusion of the trial. He said issues regarding the ineffectiveness argument should’ve already been dealt with, and suggested consulting the State Bar for guidance.
There was a hearing scheduled for Oct. 9, but Scarlett issued the order Oct. 16 for the December hearing date. In the meantime, court documents indicate Heinze has a new attorney, though the person’s name was not immediately available.
In an order issued in October, Scarlett ruled that the Capital Defender’s Office — of which Rudy was a part — had produced its file on Heinze to his current counsel, so a defense motion to produce that file was rendered moot. Also, the defense asked the court to compel the Capital Defender’s Office to condense the file, but that was denied, as Scarlett stated the court didn’t have the authority to demand an attorney organize their files in any particular manner.
There was an another motion for a hearing regarding “extraordinary post-conviction relief,” but Scarlett ruled there was no basis provided as to why that relief should be granted, so the motion was denied.