Special to SEGAZINE
A juror has been excused from the panel in Guy Heinze Jr.’s death penalty murder trial. Judge Stephen Scarlett put a woman alternate on the jury and ordered them to start anew.
“Your deliberations must start anew and cover all 11 counts,” Scarlett said.
That wipes out the verdict on two drug charges that the foreman announced they had reached Thursday.
Scarlett passed a new verdict form to the foreman and at 10:30 p.m. ordered the nine-woman, three-man jury to begin deliberations.
Heinze is on trial for his life in the Aug. 29, 2009, beating deaths of his father and seven others.
The drug charges, a felony and a misdemeanor, arose from prescription painkillers and a small amount of marijuana police found that morning in the car Heinze was driving.
The prosecution has been trying since Monday to have a juror removed after a bailiff testified that as early as the second day of the trial he could not find Heinze guilty. The bailiff also said that the juror had spoken of the case with his wife Sunday afternoon during closely monitored visits.