BRUNSWICK — A Georgia man charged with killing his father and seven extended family members inside their mobile home told police he smoked crack cocaine before the slayings but insisted he couldn’t have been the killer, according to a videotaped interview shown to the trial jury Friday.
Guy Heinze Jr., 26, faces the death penalty if he’s convicted of the Aug. 29, 2009, slayings at a mobile home park just outside coastal Brunswick. His trial began Tuesday and is expected to last at least another week.
Glynn County police interviewed Heinze four days after the killings. At the time he had been jailed on drug charges, but was not yet charged with murder. During the interview shown to jurors, Heinze told police he had smoked $100 worth of crack cocaine during the hours before the killings, the Florida Times-Union reported.
“Guy, is it possible, with you being high like you were, you could have done this?” police investigator Len Davis asked.
“No. No,” Heinze replied. “That was my family.”
During the interview, which lasted more than an hour, Heinze at least three times contradicted statements he made to police the day the bodies were discovered, The Brunswick News reported. In one, he neglected to tell police the first time he had met with one of the victims away from home the day of the killings.
Heinze blamed the discrepancies on being “messed up” on drugs the day police arrived at the crime scene.
Heinze is charged with killing his father, 45-year-old Guy Heinze Sr., and the other seven victims. Rusty Toler Sr., 44, was killed along with his four children: Chrissy Toler, 22; Russell D. Toler Jr., 20; Michael Toler, 19; and Michelle Toler, 15. Also slain was the elder Toler’s sister, Brenda Gail Falagan, 49, and Joseph L. West, the 30-year-old boyfriend of Chrissy Toler. Her 3-year-old son, Byron Jimerson Jr., ended up the sole survivor but had such severe head injuries that prosecutors said he was unable to assist with the case.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation forensic toxicologist Stacey Reynolds Forehan testified Friday that tests performed on blood drawn from Heinze after the killings showed he had cocaine, marijuana and a narcotic painkiller in his system. Heinze told investigators he bought crack cocaine the day of the killings from West. He said West sold drugs out of the mobile home, often to people who came knocking outside his bedroom window.
No murder weapon was recovered in the case, though prosecutors have said they suspect all eight victims were beaten with a shotgun barrel. The medical examiner who performed the autopsies testified the victims suffered more than 220 external injuries, as well as numerous internal injuries such as skull fractures and bleeding around the brain.
Heinze has pleaded not guilty. His defense attorneys say it defies reason to believe he killed all eight victims single-handedly and that police ignored other suspects and potential evidence in their rush to build a case against Heinze.