The Howard, Jones, Nobles Funeral Home in Jesup, Georgia, has it hands full. Given the task of burying seven of the eight victims of the New Hope Plantation mobile home massacre, it will have to borrow six hearses from area funeral homes.
An operator at the Howard, Jones, Nobles Funeral Home, Danny Nobles, told the Brunswick News, “…this is the largest funeral we’ve ever done.” Youngs Island Church of God in McIntosh County, where the services will be held, is described by Nobles as a “small, rural, country church,” with a capacity of no more than 100 people. Services are set for Saturday, September 5th, at 3:00 p.m.
Guy Heinze, Jr., 22, the man who made the 911 call to police and whose father was among the dead, was arrested for drug possession, lying to police and misleading investigators shortly after the killings. He was granted $20,000 bond Wednesday, and ordered to wear an ankle monitor, but as of Thursday was still in jail because the monitor has not arrived. He will move in with his grandmother in Glynn County, and is permitted to leave home only to go to work. Other restrictions include probation supervision, curfew and random drug testing. Police have not named Heinze, Jr. as a suspect, and say they are continuing to pursue all leads.
Ashley Strickland, 25, and several other friends of Heinze, Jr., attended the hearing to lend him support. Strickland told the Brunswick News that Heinze was a nice guy and had a good relationship with his family. “He doesn’t deserve this, his whole family doesn’t deserve this. I hope they know the entire community will be there for them.”
Police continue to be closed mouthed about their investigation, but an official close to the investigation told the Brunswick News that the victims had been shot. Today police said any gang connection to the slayings has been ruled out. Torrential rain the past two days has hampered the search for evidence outside the trailer. More than 25 investigators are on the case, and the long hours are taking their toll on the police budget and personnel, according to Police Chief Matt Doering.
The dead were identified earlier this week as Russell D. “Rusty” Toler Sr., 44 and his four children, Chrissy, 22, Russell, 20, Michael, 19, and Michelle, 15; Guy Heinze, Sr., 45, Rusty Toler’s half-brother; Brenda Gail Falagan, 49, Rusty Toler’s sister; and Joseph L. West, 30, Chrissy Toler’s boyfriend. No date has been announced for West’s funeral, being handled by R.L. Jones and Sons Funeral Home, Brunswick.
The eight people were killed some time between Friday night and 8:00 a.m. Saturday inside a trailer at Lot 147 in New Hope Plantation. The seven members of an extended family and a friend were discovered by Guy Heinze, Jr.,when he returned home on Saturday morning. The sole survivor, three-year-old Byron Jimmerson Jr., son of Chrissy Toler, is in critical but stable condition at a Savannah hospital.
A fund has been set up to pay funeral expenses for the victims. Donations can be sent to Toler Funeral Fund at Southeastern Bank, account number 1010026390.
Brunswick News; News4Georgia