Associated Press Release
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) -- A jury convicted a Georgia man of murder in the beating deaths of eight people, despite the objections of defense attorneys who say the man could not have killed so many without help.
A last-minute deal spared 26-year-old Guy Heinze Jr. the death penalty. A juror was dismissed just hours before the verdict Friday and replaced with an alternate.
Prosecutor John B. Johnson says defense attorneys agreed to allow the juror's dismissal to avoid a hung jury. A hung jury would have required a new trial in the coming months.
The deal means Heinze will be sentenced to life in prison. The trial judge will decide later whether he will be eligible for parole.