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Jury deadlocked on murder charges in Heinze death penalty trial

Special to SEGAZINE

The jury in Guy Heinze Jr.s death penalty  murder trial told Judge Stephen Scarlett Thursday it is deadlocked 9-3 on the eight malice murder and one aggravated assault charges.The foreman of the eight-woman, four-man jury told Scarlett it had reached a verdict on the felony charge of violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.”Is it your opinion you are hopelessly deadlocked, or could further deliberations be fruitful, Scarlett asked the foreman.When the foreman hesitated to answer, Scarlett told the jury to discuss  the matter and advise him.They went back to the jury room but returned to the courtroom at 2:30 p.m. to watch a videotaped walkthrough of the crime scene, a mobile home where, Heinze had told police, he came home early Saturday morning on Aug. 29, 2009, and found his whole family beaten to death. There was, however, one survivor, Byron Jimerson, who was 3 at the time.Officials said that should a mistrial be declared on the nine more serious charges, the verdicts on the two drug charges would still be valid.The maximum penalty on the felony drug charge is five years and the penalty on the misdemeanor charge is one year.9:20 a.m. BRUNSWICK | Judge Stephen Scarlett opened court at 9:05 a.m. Thursday just long enough to tell lawyers in Guy Heinze Jr.s death penalty murder trial that he was instructing the eight-woman, four-man to resume deliberations.The sequestered jury deliberated about seven hours Wednesday before stopping about 9 p.m. on the eighth day of the trial.Heinze, 27, has been in custody since Aug. 29, 2009, when he reported he had found his father and seven others dead in a single-wide mobile home north of Brunswick where 10 people lived.He is charged with eight counts of malice murder in the deaths of his father, Guy Heinze Sr., 45; Russell D. Toler Sr., 44; Toler’s children, Russell D. Toler Jr.; 20, Chrissy Toler, 22; Michael Toler, 19; Michelle Toler, 15; Chrissy Toler’s boyfriend, Joseph West, 30; and the senior Toler’s sister, Brenda Gail Falagan, 49.He is charged with aggravated assault with intent to murder in the beating of Byron Jimerson, now 7, and violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.About four hours into their deliberations Wednesday the jury returned to the courtroom to view two videotapes, one an interrogation of Heinze, and to hear an audiotape.

via Jury says its deadlocked on murder charges in Guy Heinze Jr. death penalty trial |

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