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New Evidence Turned Over in Rex Heuermann’s Gilgo Beach Trial. Former Police Chief’s Role Questioned.

FTC Reporter Daniel Garcia reports from Gilgo suspect Rex Heuermann's Wednesday court appearance in Riverhead, NY.

Alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann appears in Judge Tim Mazzei’s courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Wednesday, April 17, 2024.   (Photo credit: Newsday / James Carbone via Pool)


By Daniel Garcia

RIVERHEAD, NY – The alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex A. Heuermann made a court appearance on Wednesday in front of Judge Timothy Mazzei at the Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead. This was Heuermann’s first appearance since February. Heuermann, who was charged with the murder of 4 of the 11 victims in the long-unsolved string of killings, has been in jail since his arrest last July. The victims’ bodies were found buried close to each other on a remote stretch of Long Island’s Gilgo Beach back in 2010.

During the court appearance, Heuermann was seen wearing a black suit, a blue tie, and was handcuffed behind his back. His estranged wife Asa Ellerup attended the court appearance with her attorney, Robert Macedonio. Ellerup and Macedonio refused to comment following the hearing.

The prosecution turned over additional evidence to the defense, which included the contents of 422 electronic devices, such as phones, laptops, and CDs, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. 388 leads on Heuermann were also turned over.



Heuermann’s defense attorney Michael Brown announced in a press conference following the court appearance that he is seeking information from the FBI’s Gilgo investigation. Brown clarified that he was not seeking FBI leads in the Gilgo case, but rather FBI information relating to former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke’s involvement. Brown also indicated that he would not rule out the possibility of calling Burke to the witness stand during trial.



Burke served as Chief of the Suffolk County Police Department from 2012 to 2015 and led the original Gilgo Beach killings investigation. In 2013, the FBI and US Attorney’s Office opened an investigation into Burke’s alleged beating of a suspect in police custody, a subsequent cover-up, and coercion of witnesses. Burke, who was charged with assaulting Christopher Loeb, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in February of 2016 and was later sentenced to 46 months in federal prison. More recently in August 2023, Burke was arrested for public lewdness, offering a sex act, and unlawful solicitation after allegedly exposing himself to a male plainclothes park ranger and propositioning him at Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park in Farmingville.

The defense also shared that a Brady letter had been filed to receive information on another suspect; a former police officer who lived in Massapequa Park with the initials “W.H.,” the same initials that were found on a belt fastened on victim Maureen Bainard-Barnes, whose murder Heuermann is charged with.

Judge Timothy Mazzei shared that he would like to see all discovery from the prosecution turned over to the defense by Heuermann’s next appearance on June 18, and that he would like to see the trial begin this upcoming July.




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