Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Judge Wants Heinze Trial by the Fall; He Calls for a September Start; Defense Asks to Begin in January

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Judge Wants Heinze Trial by the Fall; He Calls for a September Start; Defense Asks to Begin in January

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

BRUNSWICK | The judge in the Guy Heinze Jr. death penalty murder case said Tuesday he wants to begin jury selection for trial in August and begin the trial itself by September.

But lawyer Newell Hamilton Jr., who is defending the 25-year-old Heinze on charges he beat his father and seven others to death in a mobile home in August 2009, told Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett he could not be ready for trial by then. Hamilton claims he has a lot of preparation left because prosecutors have purposely delayed providing his team with DNA test results and other information the law says he should have.

"We want to put the trial off until January 2014,'' Hamilton said.

That brought a gasp from a member of the victims' family.

"That's not going to happen,'' Scarlett said.

Scarlett also sounded some notes of impatience on the opening day of a two-day hearing on defense motions saying, "We're going to find out who's been dragging their feet in regards to these discovery issues."

Scarlett repeatedly pressed Hamilton to decide whether he wanted to move the trial out of Glynn County because of pretrial publicity.

The slayings have already been widely aired "in the blogosphere, Googled and discussed," Scarlett said.

"Between now and four months from now, nothing is going to change outside the courtroom," he said.

He is giving Hamilton until Monday to decide.

The date and location of the trial notwithstanding, Hamilton and prosecutor John B. Johnson found plenty to haggle over beside timing.

Johnson expressed frustration over the defense continually asking for a tape of a recorded interview that investigators from the Glynn County Police Department says they don't have.

The taped interview sought is one with Joseph Bryant "Big Joe" Anderson, who told Glynn County police Lt. …

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