Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heidler's Mental State in Question

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Heidler's Mental State in Question

Article excerpt

SANTA CLAUS, Ga.-- In December 1997, much of southeastern Georgia was in a state of shock and disbelief. Four family members had been brutally killed, allegedly by a man who had just barely hit his 20s.

Just three weeks ago, that sense of terror returned throughout the communities of Lyons, Vidalia and Santa Claus when Jerry Scott Heidler of Alma escaped from the Toombs County Detention Center.

Heidler, now 22, was recaptured less than 12 hours after he made his escape. He faces a variety of charges stemming from the Santa Claus killings.

His trial is scheduled to begin in Walton County in northwestern Georgia in a little more than a month. It was moved there because of the amount of publicity the killings generated in the Toombs County area.

Heidler is charged with four counts of murder and faces the death penalty if convicted. He is accused of killing Danny and Kim Daniels, their 16-year-old daughter Jessica and their 8-year-old son Bryant. …

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