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Motion to recuse judge in Heidt case denied
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Defense attorneys for an Effingham County man accused of killing his father and brother had their motion to have the judge in the case recused denied.

Judge Paul Rose, chief administrative judge for the 1st Judicial District, denied the motion to have Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Judge Gates Peed recused from the case of Craig Heidt. Heidt has been charged in the August 2008 shooting deaths of his father, noted realtor and developer Philip Heidt, and his brother Carey Heidt.

With Judge Rose’s decision, handed down Thursday in Effingham County Superior Court, the case will remain assigned to Judge Peed. Judge Rose said there was no legal or factual basis for the motion.

“Obviously, the judge made the proper decision,” said Assistant District Attorney Michael Muldrew.

Craig Heidt’s attorneys argued that Judge Peed had presided over a divorce case involving a Heidt family member. Judge Peed had signed an uncontested divorce decree.

Defense attorneys also claimed that Judge Peed had received campaign contributions from the Heidts, but Judge Rose discovered he had not. They also charged that Judge Peed had a signed a search warrant in the case but that warrant had been signed in 2008, months before Craig Heidt was arrested.

Judge Rose allowed the defense the right to appeal his decision to the appellate court. They have 10 days to do so but the process for the appeal could take four or five months.