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Accused killer re-indicted by grand jury
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An Effingham County man accused in the February 2010 death of a toddler has been re-indicted by a grand jury.

Kevin Johnson was re-indicted earlier this month on three counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated assault and one count of cruelty to children. An Effingham County grand jury said Johnson “did cause the death of Melanie Rose Haynes by inflicting multiple blunt force trauma to the child’s head.”

On Feb. 8, 2010, deputies were summoned to an Aspen Drive home on a report of a child unresponsive and not breathing. The child, later identified as Melanie Haynes, died the following day at Memorial University Medical Center.

An autopsy indicated that the child suffered from blunt force trauma to the head, along with multiple other injuries that resulted in her death.

Johnson was babysitting at the time while the child’s mother, Johnson’s girlfriend, was at work, detectives learned. The child’s father was a soldier deployed to Iraq.

Johnson initially was indicted a year ago on four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated battery and one count each of aggravated assault and cruelty to children in the first degree.

Also, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Gates Peed has given Dow Bonds three months to review the transcripts of Craig Heidt’s murder trial. Heidt was convicted in December for the August 2008 shooting deaths of his father Philip Heidt and brother Carey Heidt in Philip Heidt’s home.

In January, Craig Heidt filed a motion for a new trial. He has been sentenced to two life terms plus 85 years.

Earlier this month, according to court records, Bonds approached Judge Peed about scheduling a motion for a new trial. Judge Peed, who presided over the trial that lasted more than a week, gave Bonds three months to review the eight volumes of jury trial transcripts and possibly to file an amended motion for a new trial.

Craig Heidt is housed currently at Macon State Prison.