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Gilgo Beach murder suspect's attorney says there will be no plea deals

Rex Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the murders of three women found on New York's Long Island back in 2010.
Gilgo Beach murder suspect's attorney says there will be no plea deals
Posted at 7:32 AM, Aug 02, 2023

An attorney for the suspect in the string of killings known as the Gilgo Beach murders says there will not be any plea deals in the case.

Rex Heuermann was due back in court Tuesday for the first time since pleading not guilty to the murders of three women: Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman, and Amber Lynn Costello. All three women disappeared over a 14-month period before their bodies were discovered near Gilgo Beach on Long Island's South Shore in 2010.

Heuermann, a 59-year-old architect from Long Island, New York, is also the primary suspect in the death of a fourth woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, who went missing in 2007. Her remains were found in the same area as the other women, across the bay from where Heuermann lived for decades.

SEE MORE: Vast amount of evidence uncovered at Gilgo Beach murder suspect's home

After Tuesday's hearing, Suffolk County prosecutors said that they turned over at least 8 terabytes of evidence to Heuermann's lawyer, Michael Brown, including about 100 hours of surveillance footage recorded prior to his July 13 arrest. In a post-hearing press conference, Brown defended his client, saying he's already been tried by the public without due justice.

"The press has convicted my client without seeing a shred of evidence," Brown said. "So he doesn't stand a chance with the press, and we're not going to try the case in the press. I doubt that any one of you, for a moment, have even contemplated the possibility that they have the wrong guy."

Brown added that he has not had a chance to review any of the evidence yet and that prosecutors have agreed to not share any of the information with the public.

The 13-year-old case has garnered vast public attention over the years after the remains of 11 victims were found along the same quarter-mile stretch of beach in 2010 and 2011. The case also influenced the popular 2020 Netflix film "Lost Girls."

It all began with the search for 24-year-old sex worker Shannan Gilbert, who had disappeared after leaving a client's house near the seafront town of Gilgo Beach. Although several searches were conducted in the area where she was last seen, her body was not discovered until 18 months after she was reported missing.

During the search for Gilbert, police uncovered the bodies of four additional victims, all of whom also advertised on Craigslist as escorts. Over the next year, the number of victims had climbed to 11, including a man and a toddler.

It's a case that has perplexed several homicide investigators and led to few leads over the years. In 2022, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison formed a multi-agency task force consisting of representatives from the FBI, state and local police, in an attempt to finally solve the case.

Authorities say they were able to connect Heuermann to the crimes after matching his DNA from pizza crust to genetic material found on one of the victims.

Heuermann has pleaded not guilty to the charges and a judge has ordered that he remain in police custody without bail. He's due back in court on Sept. 27.

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