'Massive' Amount of Evidence Given To Accused Gilgo Killer Defense: DA

MASSAPEQUA PARK, NY — Four, two-terabyte hard drives and six CDs containing thousands of pages of documents were handed to the defense of accused Gilgo Beach killer Rex Heuermann on Tuesday, as he made his first appearance in court since being indicted on murder charges in the killings of three sex workers.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, who is personally prosecuting Heuermann, said the Tuesday afternoon appearance began the discovery phase of evidence.

Tierney, Heuermann’s attorney, Michael Brown, their counsels, and Judge Timothy Mazzei, retreated out of public view in chambers to discuss evidence for more than 30 minutes.

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At 6 feet, 4 inches, Heuermann appeared to be the tallest man in a courtroom filled with several victims’ family members, lawyers, and reporters.

For the duration of the proceeding, he kept his back toward the public, draped in a dark gray suit with a light blue dress shirt.

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Handcuffed at his wrists, Heuermann stood with messy-presenting hair and his face slightly flushed.

See also: For Rex Heuermann, An Extraordinary Arrest, But Ordinary Incarceration

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Tierney said that during chamber conversations, he handed a “tremendous amount” of evidence, including thousands of pages of documents and video surveillance, to Brown.

“I’m not going to speak for defense counsel, but suffice to say, it is a massive amount of material,” said Tierney.

Heuermann’s next court appearance is Sept. 27. Tierney said that from now until that date, his team will continue to comply with discovery requirements, and that discovery evidence will continue to given to Brown on a rolling basis.

He also could not confirm when the discovery process will end, but could take months. Since the investigation is nearly 13 years old and continuing, this is the first step of the case, he said.

“It’s going to take a while, and we just need to be productive,” Tierney said.

Heuermann was charged July 14 with six counts of murder in the deaths of Amber Costello, Melissa Barthelemy, and Megan Waterman, whose remains were found in 2010 along Ocean Parkway. He pleaded not guilty.

Since 2010, at least 11 sets of remains have been found, believed to be related to the Gilgo Beach killings. Police have searched for a serial killer ever since. At least four of the killings included strangulation, and two showed signs of blunt-force trauma.

Last week, Tierney announced the end of a search of Heuermann’s Massapequa Park home.

The 12-day search, which began July 14, continued into his backyard with a large excavator.

Tierney said that nothing has been concluded at this time from the “tremendous amount of information” found, and described the home as “cluttered.”

He said that nothing “jumps out” at him from the search, but only because law enforcement must wait until “all the facts are in” to make a conclusion.

Law enforcement also raided an Amityville storage unit, in attempts to obtain evidence. It has not been confirmed who the storage unit belongs to.

Tierney would not confirm the number of people representing the victims’ families, and said his team is in communication with them. While they would not comment to the press, they are “very engaged” in the case, he said.

Brown, at a press conference following Heuermann’s court appearance, said that his team would go through the evidence he received in “fine detail.”

He also defended his client’s innocence.

“He’s a man who has never been arrested before,” said Brown. “He’s maintained his innocence from the inception of this case. So he’s doing the best he can at this point in time.”

The defense attorney also said he feels the press already “convicted” his client in the public eye, claiming the media is fully accepting law enforcement’s presented evidence in the bail application.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years. The government makes allegations all the time,” Brown said. “Sometimes the allegations are true. Sometimes they’re not.”

Brown also addressed Heuermann’s suicide watch, saying that he is not concerned for his client, and it is a normal proceeding for incarcerated people.

Only days after his indictment, Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup, filed for divorce. Brown declined to comment on that issue, as he is not representing Heuermann in that regard. However, he confirmed that Heuermann has been in communication with his family since his incarceration, and that Ellerup has not visited her husband in prison.

Brown ensured that Heuermann is not interested in a plea deal, and looks forward to seeing his day in court.

“He said from the moment I met him, ‘I did not do this,'” said Brown. “So we’re prepared to go forward, defend this case in a court of law — and we will go to trial.”

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