Court filings show new details on how defense team plans to fight charges in Gilgo case

The defense team argues that prosecutors have not shown probable cause that Rex Heuermann committed the murders of three women, according to the documents.

Rachel Yonkunas

Aug 8, 2023, 10:23 PM

Updated 256 days ago

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Attorneys for suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer, Rex Heuermann, have filed a motion with the State Supreme Court in Riverhead opposing a request from prosecutors to obtain the defendant’s DNA from a cheek swab.
The court filings, obtained by Team 12 Investigates, provide more details about the defense’s strategy in the case and give some specifics on how they plan to fight the charges. The defense team argues that prosecutors have not shown probable cause that Heuermann committed the murders of three women, according to the documents.
“In the case before this court, the People maintain that they have met their burden as to the first prong of the test, i.e., a showing that probable cause exists to believe the defendant has committed the crime, based upon the fact that defendant Rex Heuermann has been indicted for the offenses,” wrote Danielle Coysh, one of Heuermann’s court-appointed attorneys.
Heuermann’s lawyers state that the claims made in the prosecution’s motion are “inadequate” to establish probable cause. They argued that the mitochondrial DNA obtained from a pizza crust and napkin that Heuermann threw away is not evidence that Heuermann actually came in contact with the items.
“In paragraph 32 of the People’s Affirmation in Support the People acknowledge that presently they can state nothing more than Rex A. Heuermann is purported to have used or touched those items,” stated Coysh. “Thus, by the People’s own admission, the nexus between the partially eaten pizza crust and used napkin and the defendant Rex A. Heuermann is at best a matter of conjecture and assumption, not fact.”
The defense team also attacked the argument that Heuermann matches a witness description of the suspected killer. A witness described a man around 6 feet 4 inches, largely built with dark bushy hair and glasses, as believed to be the last person to see Gilgo Beach victim Amber Costello alive.
Coysh wrote that there is no claim Heuermann was ever identified in-person or through photos as that person.
The court filing is in response to a motion by prosecutors last week. They want a cheek swab from Heuermann to help build his full DNA profile and bolster their case against the Massapequa Park native.
WATCH: DOCUMENTARY AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Gilgo Beach: Unsolved
Team 12 Investigates has learned that Judge Timothy Mazzei will make his decision on the motion on Wednesday. If he grants the prosecution’s request, Heuermann’s attorneys have asked that one of them is present during the cheek swab process.


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