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Gilgo Beach Murders Suspect Rex Heuermann Appears in Court

Rex Heuermann, the man suspected in the Gilgo Beach killings, made an appearance in court Tuesday.

Prosecutors turned over 2,500 pages of documents and hours of surveillance video to Heuermann’s defense team.

The accused’s family was not in court for the 32-minute conference.

Families of victims, however, walked out of court in silence and grief after having seen the accused serial killer up close. With his mop of unwashed hair and wearing a tight blue jacket, 59-year-old Heuermann glared towards those assembled as he left in handcuffs.

“There is no plea deal. He said from the moment I met him that, ‘I did not do this,’ so we are prepared to go forward. We will defend this case in a court of law and we will go to trial in this case,” defense attorney Michael Brown said.

The court conference was brief. There was no application for bail or change of venue.

Heuermann remains in custody as prosecutors turned over reams of discovery, including thousands of pages, photos, videos, DNA, and hours of surveillance they say it will take months to review.

“You are talking about 13 years worth of investigation, so it is — I’m not going to speak for defense counsel, but, suffice to say, it is a massive amount of material, and, don’t forget, it’s continuing,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

Tierney plans to try the case himself.

Since Heuermann’s arrest, his estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, has filed for divorce. Through her attorney, she asked for space for her family and her neighbors.

When the family returned to their Massapequa Park home, in photos provided by her attorney, they discovered boxes strewn about and piled-high and litter everywhere, and said they were blindsided by the charges.

“She had no idea this was going on,” said Robert Macedonio, Ellerup’s attorney.

The 12-day search involved cadaver dogs, ground-penetrating radar, and heavy equipment. Investigators say they discovered a walk-in vault in the basement and recovered hundreds of weapons that belonged to Heuermann, an architect.

Investigators say they’ve used DNA and data from burner phones to link Heuermann to the murders of three women whose bodies were found on Gilgo Beach back in 2010. They say he’s also the prime suspect in the killing of a fourth woman.

“We’ve worked through the grand jury process. That grand jury process is continuing. The good thing about the grand jury process is that we can subpoena witness and evidence, but it is also secret,” Tierney said.

Heuermann has yet to receive a single visit from family members in jail. He remains under suicide watch, but his attorney says he is eager to prove his innocence.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to assist Ellerup and the children.

Source : CBS News