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Jury selection to begin in Heidt murder trial
Effingham man accused of shooting father, brother
Craig Heidt

Jury selection in the trial of a man accused in the August 2008 shooting deaths of his father and brother is scheduled to get under way today in the Effingham County Judicial Complex.

Craig Heidt, 42, was arrested in May 2009 for the killings of his father Philip Heidt and brother Carey Heidt at Philip Heidt's home on Springfield-Egypt Road. Craig Heidt was indicted a few days later on two counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated battery, two counts of burglary and one count of criminal intent to commit arson.

Craig Heidt's mother, Linda Heidt, also was badly wounded in the shooting.

The trial has been delayed on a number of occasions already. Defense attorney Dow Bonds asked for a continuance in order to care for his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, in April.

Earlier that month, co-counsel Manubir Arora was disqualified from representing Craig Heidt since he also was representing Robin Heidt, Carey Heidt's widow, and prosecutors said they may call her as a witness. Robin Heidt was charged in February with tampering with a witness. Defense attorneys had filed more than 30 pre-trial motions, and Arora had prepared most of those.

Bonds filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court on Arora's disqualification. The state's justices unanimously dismissed the appeal.

Another trial start date of Aug. 17 was scrubbed when Bonds had a case in U.S. District Court in Savannah that could not be moved on the calendar.

In September, the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney's asked for and was granted a continuance in the case after the death of a potential witness at Robin Heidt's home.

Judge Gates Peed also is expected to deliver his ruling on the defense's motion for a change of venue along with the jury selection. Judge Peed also issued a gag order, restricting comments about the trial from either the defense or the prosecutors, in January.

The trial is expected to begin immediately after a jury is picked.


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