Author Jodie Sturt
At around 8.05am on Saturday, August 29th, 2009, police received a 911 call from a 22 year old man, Guy Heinze Jr, claiming that his whole family was dead. On arrival at the trailer park, they found 7 people dead and 2 others critically injured in a small mobile home. One of those injured, 19 year old Michael Toler, died the following day in hospital. On September 8, police stated that the victims had been beaten with a blunt instrument. They believe that only one person committed this crime (think about it logically....is this possible?)
The suspected murder weapon was the barrel of a shotgun, it has never been found.
Police believe that Guys motive was that he wanted a bottle of prescription drugs of Michael Toler, got into a confrontation with Russell Toler, and killed the rest to avoid getting caught.
Just under a week later on September 4, 2009, Guy Heinze was charged with the murders, he spent the next 4 years in prison.
On October 25, 2013, Heinze was convicted of all 8 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole.
On 24 march 2014, parts of the trial were included in a televised UK BBC3 documentary called “Life and death row”
Guy Heinze....just a normal 22 year old. His employer at the time of the deaths testified that he was a “model employee who always appeared for work and wanted to work weekends”. His grandmother stated he was “never a confrontational person”. Guy has never been in any trouble with law enforcement for 22 whole years no violent history like some would expect....there’s nothing. It’s very clear to see throughout the documentary that Guy has a very gentle nature, you can see the torment in his eyes that these accusations have caused and at times the grief that he still feels at the loss of his family.
It all starts in a small mobile home in the New Hope plantation, Georgia. Guy arrives home from a night away to discover a horrendous scene, his family brutally murdered, as you can imagine not a sight anyone should ever have to see. He frantically shouts at a neighbour to call 911. The 911 call is heartbreaking, his neighbour Margaret makes the call. She has panic in her voice as she tells the operator what has happened, she passes the phone to Guy who sounds extremely distraught and emotional “I just got home and my whole family’s dead.....I don’t know what to do”. A quote from the 911 call. Guy also alerted everyone that Michael was still alive, just think, if he had beat all his family why would he risk Michael making a recovery and telling all?
Guy was arrested a day later on charges of tampering with evidence, he had removed a shotgun from the mobile home prior to the police arriving as he believed it was stolen and didn’t want to get into trouble, obstruction of an officer, the warrant issued for his arrest said he had given “false and misleading information about his whereabouts and involvement in the circumstances leading up to him calling 911 to report the deaths of his family members”, and illegal drug possession. Keep in mind that he was questioned an hour later, still under the influence, still in shock and in reality anything they were told should have been taken with a pinch of salt. Arresting him for these minuscule charges a day after he had just found his whole family murdered shows the lack of compassion that these officers had towards this delicate situation and the surviving involved.
Guy had been granted bail by a judge. He remained in the Glynn County detention center awaiting the arrival of an electronic ankle bracelet, the police had said that the electronic ankle bracelet had not yet arrived and they were uncertain of when it would arrive therefore keeping Guy arrested. Statements online have suggested that “the police are stalling, this is harassment on the part of the police”. Guy had finally been released on bail, just a mere 90 minutes later he was re-arrested and charged with 8 accounts of murder and 1 account of attempted murder. Glynn County police chief Matt Doering said at a news conference on the day of Guys arrest “Two pieces of information came forward to us. We took these 2 pieces of information compared to the whole of all the evidence collected all week long.....and that lead us to believe that Guy Heinze Jr is the responsible person”. He never commented on what the evidence actually was.
The next 4 years Guy spends behind bars. October 2013 it’s time for his trial to start. Guy, his family, and the victims family have to relive the pain and torment that was caused on august 29, 2009 all over again. Guy appeared in court, well presented, clean shaven and wearing a suit, hoping that his innocence would be proven. In attendance throughout his trial were Guys grandmother Jean and brother Tyler who both 100% support Guy and believe in his innocence, they know him better than anyone else, they know his character, his traits and even his faults. The documentary follows Jean and Tyler and how they were feeling throughout the trial, it focused on the hopes that Tyler had and the plans that he had made for himself and his brother, it showed their strong and inspirational characters and pleasant attitudes throughout.
Members of the jury were interviewed on their opinions throughout the trial which were televised for our viewing in the documentary, if you have seen the documentary I’m sure that you will agree that they had us under the speculation that they also believed that Guy was innocent. For those that haven’t yet seen the documentary, 5 out of 12 jurors were interviewed. It consisted of 2 male and 3 female. 3 of the jurors interviewed were of an older generation and 2 were of a younger generation (22). Throughout the documentary they would give their opinions on what they had seen and how it made them feel, words like “compassion”, “heartfelt”, “grief”, “genuine”, and “strong in his favour” flooded out. Do these words sound like traits of a mass murderer?
Towards the end of the documentary it was time for the jurors to vote, it was not unanimous, meaning that they all couldn’t agree on a verdict, 3 jurors out of 12 had a different opinion. The judge requested that they go back and continue to try and reach a unanimous verdict, somehow 2 of the 3 jurors had changed their opinion and it all came down to 1 juror who’s opinion could not be changed. After lots of activity by lawyers, including a private meeting, the judge announced that a juror was excused....the juror that would not change his opinion! What does this tell you?
A new juror joined the panel and deliberations started again from the beginning. Eventually they had reached a unanimous verdict which was guilty. I think that is now a good time to quote two of the jurors that were interviewed throughout the documentary the two young female jurors aged 22 stated “I was confused.....probably the majority of the time” and the other young female beside her agreed. How did these two young ladies come to the conclusion of ‘guilty beyond reasonable doubt’ if they had trouble understanding the trial?
The documentary showed us the police crime scene video....words fail me; it was as many have described as a “bloodbath”, most of us have never had to experience such a disturbing view. Lifeless bodies just lying there and blood splatter on the walls as the police made their way through the small mobile home.
The evidence found at the murder scene was bought to trial; it consisted of blood on Guys shorts, undershorts and flip flops, the blood matched 4 of the victims, yet no blood was found on his shirt, hands or face. A defence expert testified “the blood was smeared, not splattered, indicating it must have gotten on his clothes when he found the bodies hours after the killings rather than as they were being committed”. Police put all of Guys clothes into the same bag, meaning a huge risk of cross contamination may have occurred.
Put yourself in Guys flip flops so to speak, imagine yourself coming home to find your family murdered, would you wait outside for the police to arrive or would you go in there and search for life?
Most peoples answer would be to search for life.....so therefore your going to have blood on you, think back to how the crime scene is described!
Forensic science and criminology consultant Michael Knox testified in Guys defence, “had Guy killed 1 or more of the victims, he would have had blood on him”, he said “As much blood splatter as there was at this scene, no one could have committed these crimes without having a substantial amount of blood on them that could not be scrubbed off”, “Your going to have to use brushes that are going to get down in all the little grooves, a lot of scrubbing, a lot of soap and a lot of water’, he testified.
Guys reaction was to check for survivors.....which you can hear in the 911 call as he shouts out “Michael is still breathing”, if he had committed these murders why would he want to save anyone? Why would he risk Michael making a recovery and telling the truth?
The Georgia law enforcement doesn’t leave a lot to be desired in their capabilities and professionalism towards this case. They risk cross contamination, fail to test vital pieces of evidence, evidence was left in an officers car overnight, they failed to follow up on other suspects, the list goes on. They photographed crucial evidence of blood drops in the bathroom of the mobile home where no victims had been during this crime. They failed to collect this evidence, what use is a photo?
This evidence could have proven Guy innocent, and perhaps the police never collected it as it would have ruled Guy out of the investigation, therefore hindering their progress to tie someone, anyone to this crime? A pair of bloody homemade nunchucks were reported to have been found by the management of the mobile park a while after, she called the police and asked them if it was something that they would be interested in, they said yes it would, collected it but done nothing with it. A hammer was later then reported to be found near the mobile home, again nothing was ever tested. Of course, the police didn’t pay any attention to them, why would they? If it was evidence that could prove Guys innocence, they truly didn’t want to know! The Georgia law enforcement has admitted to the above, stating that they “were satisfied there was enough evidence to show Guy Heinze Jr was responsible for the murders”.
Janet Baker, a former resident of New Hope Mobile Home park, said she got up about 2.30 and 4.30am on the morning. She testified that she heard a dog barking repeatedly at one of those times. The Toler family’s bull mastiff, Buddy, was tied up on their front porch during the slayings and didn’t like strangers. Why would it bark at Guy, who lived there and would have seen this dog on a daily basis?
Witness Ronald Parker, who previously worked with Guy, testified against Guy. He really should have stayed at home that day is all I can say! Ronald Parker testified that Guy had said to him “He ain’t never give me and my brother anything. I’m going to kill him. I’m going to kill em all.” He said he had been told this by Guy 3-5 weeks before the murders. Guys defence attorney Newell Hamilton stated to Ronald Parker that Guy had left his former employment in 2008 a whole year ago, catching him in a lie. Ronald Parker panicked, muttering “no, no, no.” Defence attorney Newell Hamilton accused Ronald Parker of lying stating “You’re coming into this court room and making this up.....to get your 15 minutes of fame and be on that camera right there,” he said, pointing to tv cameras in the courtroom.
Forensic science and criminology consultant Michael Knox, made numerous interesting statements that cant be ignored, here are just a few of his quotes from the trial.
“There’s no physical evidence to tie him to this crime”
“There was little splatter from the beating of Brenda Gail Falagan, because she had a pillow over her face as she was beaten she struggled with her arm while someone beat her, which raises the question of how one person could have held the arm and the pillow over her face while she was being beaten”
“Blood on the khaki shorts Guy was wearing was transferred to them, and not splattered on them when anyone was struck. There would be a lot more and there would be different patterns....had those been worn by someone who carried out these killings”
“Russell Toler Sr put up a struggle and was struck in four locations in the bedroom where he was killed. You cant do this with one person. There are 2 people in the room carrying that out”
Take the above quotes in account and just think, this is a professional giving his opinion, how is it possible to argue with a professional? How is it possible to doubt his knowledge? We don’t have his qualifications or years of experience to be able to do that, I’m sure neither did any of the jurors, so how could they ignore everything he said? How could they not have had an inch of doubt about Guy doing this?
Autopsy pictures were shown to the court, Guy found it difficult to watch, as anyone would. He looked down and removed his glasses clearly distressed and maybe even grief stricken, after all how has he been able to grieve? What support has he had? Anyone who has lost a loved one will understand the pain involved.....times that feeling by eight.
The graphic pictures continued, victims unrecognisable, lacerations to their heads, arms, hands, broken bones, knocked out teeth, to think one person could be capable of this (considering the suspected. Murder weapon is the barrel of a shotgun)and not have any signs of defence or substantial amounts o blood on their person is truly absurd!
Overall Guys case had so many holes, so much didn’t add up, so many questions unanswered, little to no evidence, law enforcement made critical errors, witnesses telling lies....after reading this could you give the verdict Guilty beyond reasonable doubt, like the jurors did?
Many people have quickly judged Guy, merely based on the fact that he was on drugs, deeming him as “Trailer Trash” without knowing the facts, without takin the time to care! Lucky for Guy their are people in this world that do care about him, his family and the injustice he has received. I cant tell you how much it must mean to Guy to have all our support, letters that we have sent him, showing him that there is kind-hearted, caring people out there, giving him hope for his future! So I urge everyone who reads this and believes Guy is innocent, don’t just ignore what you have read and get on with your life, show your support, voice your opinions, make yourself heard along with many others and give Guy the future he deserves.....an innocent man, a free man!
This page is updated regularly there will be more information added on subjects including: -
The Investigation, The Case according to Law Enforcement, a breakdown of the news coverage, The Trial, The Evidence, Who was on the Case and where are they now, Guys conviction and current situation, who are Eye on Innocence, The life on Death Row BBC Documentary.
Any information on this page has been verified by Guys family, partner and/or official documentation.
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