Gilgo Beach murders: Rex Heuermann makes court appearance in Riverhead for discovery hearing

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Gilgo Beach murder suspect appears in court for discovery hearing
Suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann appeared in court on Tuesday in Riverhead. Sonia Rincon has the latest.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann appeared in court Tuesday in Riverhead for a hearing to discuss discovery.

Heuermann has already pleaded not guilty in the murders of at least three women. The 59-year-old architect is also the prime suspect in a fourth woman's murder.

The suspect wore a suit coat and khaki pants, and rocked back and forth on his heels as his attorney and a Suffolk County prosecutor discussed discovery.

The prosecution said they had turned over about eight terabytes of evidence, in addition to 2,500 pages of documents and photographs. Chantee Lans report from the courthouse with the latest details.

The prosecution said they had turned over hard drives to the defense, as well as about 2,500 pages of documents and photographs. The documents included autopsy reports and DNA reports, and surveillance footage from the defendant's home, the prosecution said.

They added that the totality of evidence includes thousands of pages of records, documents and photographs and will be produced in due time.

Heuermann's attorney, Michael Brown, repeatedly said he hadn't seen any evidence. He said his client would not take a plea deal and plans to go to trial.

"There's no plea deal, he said from the moment I met him that 'I did not do this,' so we're prepared to go forward," Brown said. "We will defend this case in a court of law and we are prepared to go to trial on this case."

Brown said he will take the hard drives back to his office and start reviewing it Tuesday afternoon.

Outside of Long Island, police have also been searching in other parts of the country where the suspect may have ties, like South Carolina, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

However, on Tuesday, police said there does not seem to be a connection between Heuermann and the 2006 homicides in Atlantic City. The 2006 deaths in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, remain under investigation.

On Monday, his estranged wife Asa Ellerup opened up just days after returning to her Massapequa Park home, after police cleared it as a crime scene.

ABC News obtained pictures of Rex Heuermann's Massapequa Park home, which were taken by Ellerup, following the search by authorities.

The photos depict the fallout of the authorities' search of the alleged serial killer's home, and were taken after Ellerup and her two adult children returned home last week after initially clearing the premises.

Suffolk County has ended the search of Gilgo Beach murder suspect Rex Heuermann's house and will be leaving Massapequa Park "shortly." Reporter Stacey Sager has more.

Ellerup told ABC News in a phone call that it feels like "everything is destroyed" as she and her two kids, who are now adults, adjust to the reality that their family member has been arrested for being a serial killer.

"My children have been crying themselves to sleep. And I've been crying myself to sleep too," she said. "Every time my kids go through something... they open a box. Every single time they cry."

She says the boxed belongings left behind by authorities that they encountered when they arrived back home are a constant reminder of Heuermann's alleged crimes.

"She had no idea this was going on or the allegations or her husband was a suspect. She is not a suspect, she has not been questioned by the police regarding any of this. It's been extremely overwhelming for her and the children trying to piece life together to what it was two and a half weeks ago. I don't know if they're ever going to return to normalcy," Ellerup's lawyer, Robert Macedonio, said.

ALSO READ: Gilgo Beach murders: Complete timeline of events leading up to Rex Heuermann's arrest

Ellerup added that her son, who she said is developmentally delayed, has been sleeping in a chair at night.

Her attorney says Ellerup has received support from the daughter of another convicted serial killer, Keith Hunter Jesperson, who is known as the "Happy Face Killer." Jesperson's daughter reportedly started a GoFundMe for Ellerup and her children.

Under New York state law, prosecutors must get a grand jury to sign off on felony indictments. They decided to arrest him without first securing those grand jury indictments, worried that information about the case could leak and Heuermann might get away.


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