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Evidence gathering techniques questioned during Heinze trial

5:35 PM, Oct 19, 2013   |    comments
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Day five of the Guy Heinze Jr. death penalty murder trial was taken up with the defense continuing to cross examine lead investigator, Lt. Bill Darris of the Glynn County Police Department.

During cross examination Defense Attorney Newell Hamilton Jr. questioned police's evidence gathering procedures. Darris admitted that Tyvex suits and booties were not always worn while processing the crime scene. 

"I have no evidence that there was cross contamination of this scene, is it possible?" Hamilton asked

"Yes," Darris said.  

Hamilton brought up a knife found at the crime scene with the blood of victim Russel Toler Jr. on it.

"Were Mr Heinz fingerprints found on that knife?" 

"I don't believe so," Darris responded.

Darris also said Heinz DNA was not found on the knife.

Hamilton asked Darris if he had a murder weapon or a motive in this case, and he said no. Darris did speculate on a motive when asked.

"My belief is he came back to that trailer some point that night, wanted those pills by Michael Toler, he went into that room and got in an argument with Rusty Toler Sr., he got in an argument because they weren't going to give him those pills. He was going to get those pills and it started from there."

Darris said he believed Heinze committed the crime because Heinze's black shorts had blood of victims that did not match blood of victims found on a pair of khaki shorts he was also wearing.

Darris also said it is possible the crime was committed with an object not yet discovered by police.

Darris also testified that Toler Sr. had $61 in his possession but no one else had any money and that Heinze took it because he had spent his money on drugs and other items the day before.  

State prosecutors say it is their goal to wrap up its case when the trial resumes Monday.

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