It was the first time during the trial of Gilgo Beach, New York murder suspect Rex Heuermann that his now estranged wife Asa Ellerup appeared in court. She went to court on Wednesday for one of Heuermann's appearances.
Ellerup filed for divorce from Heuermann six days after he was arrested in July, accused of murdering three sex workers, charges to which he has pleaded not guilty. Heuermann appeared in a suit and tie while his attorneys talked over evidence and sorted through various scheduling issues in the Long Island courtroom.
The Wednesday appearance was Heuermann's first time in court since September.
Local media in New York reported that Ellerup recently visited Heuermann in jail and that she has her own legal counsel who communicated plans that she reportedly wants to appear in court every date she is able to attend, going forward.
Heuermann's attorney Michael Brown said, "He hasn't really had any interaction with anybody, so the fact that she had an interaction with him, that was important."
Heuermann's July arrest centered around a yearslong investigation and accusations that he murdered Melissa Barthelemy, Megan Waterman and Amber Costello. Their bodies were found years before in 2010, on Long Island.
The case, and the investigation, stem from the discovery of almost a dozen sets of human remains found along the South Shore of Long Island between 2010 and 2011. Four of those victims' remains were located near each other and had been buried off Ocean Parkway in Gilgo Beach.
Attorneys and prosecutors have been poring over mountains of evidence collected during the yearslong investigation.
In August, according to prosecutors, lawyers for 60-year-old Heuermann — who worked as an architect — were given a sizable amount of evidence to review, including around 8,000 pages of information, along with subpoenas, court recordings and other items.
In September, when Heuermann made his last prior court appearance before Wednesday's scheduled date, prosecutors said they gave his legal team additional evidence, including around 5,000 pages of information, a grand jury testimony, police memo books, and details about the search of his home and seizures.
Among the evidence that prosecutors want to use is a cheek swab that is said to have DNA on it which authorities claim matches DNA on a pizza crust previously collected during their investigation.
That pizza crust is key for prosecutors, who say DNA on it matches that of a hair found on Waterman’s body.
When Heuermann was arrested on July 13, prosecutors revealed they had analyzed DNA from a pizza crust he discarded in the trash in New York City.
The court gave authorities permission to perform the cheek swab to collect further DNA evidence in their claim of a match between DNA on the pizza crust and the hair.
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