LONS ISLAND, NEW YORK: In a recent court filing in Suffolk County, New York, prosecutors have revealed that more than 40 firearms and 10 high-capacity magazines, believed to belong to Rex Heuermann, a suspect in the Gilgo Beach killings, appear to be illegally possessed.
This emerged as Heuermann’s lawyers petitioned the court to regain possession of his seized firearms, with the intent to sell them.
Rex Heuermann’s weapons at the center of legal dispute
Rex Heuermann, who stands accused of murder in connection with the deaths of three women whose bodies were discovered over a decade ago on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach, has been at the center of a legal battle over the firearms seized from his Massapequa Park residence earlier this year.
The arsenal of firearms includes a range of weaponry, from assault rifles and handguns to antique firearms. Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Lawrence Opisso, in the court filing, raised concerns about the legality of some of these firearms.
Opisso stated, “Several of the firearms were apparently illegally possessed,” and he highlighted specific violations, “For example … At least 26 unregistered handguns, 15 unregistered assault weapons, and 10 high-capacity magazines appear to have been possessed in the defendant’s home in violation of Penal Law Article 265.”
The legal dispute over these weapons began when Suffolk County police seized them during a search of Heuermann’s home following his arrest in July.
Heuermann’s defense attorney, Sabato Caponi, argued that the firearms hold substantial financial value and could “provide a temporary but urgently needed respite from the financial hardships afflicting the Heuermann family.”
However, Suffolk County prosecutors contended that some of the weapons may have violated New York state gun laws, making them subject to further analysis by Nassau County investigators.
In the latest court filing, Opisso argued that Heuermann no longer has a firearms license due to his pending murder charges and the suspension of his pistol license by Nassau County. “Initially, he has failed to demonstrate that he is legally entitled to the relief he seeks given the suspension of his pistol license by Nassau County,” the documents stated.
Value of Rex Heuermann’s collection
During an exhaustive 12-day search of Heuermann’s family home, investigators discovered a diverse collection of firearms, some dating back to the 1860s and originating from various European countries.
Remarkably, some of the weapons were used in world wars, highlighting the historical significance of the collection. The inventory also revealed a rifle with a defaced serial number, a potential concern in firearms ownership.
Robert Macedonio, an attorney representing Heuermann’s estranged wife, Asa Ellerup, asserted that the entire collection could be valued at approximately $300,000. “They are valuable collectors’ items that he collected legally,” the lawyer said earlier this month, describing Heuermann as a “gun guy” who often attended NRA conferences.
Macedonio contended that Ellerup has a rightful claim to ownership of legally purchased guns, as they constitute “marital property” of significant value. However, the legal complexities do not end there.
While Heuermann possessed permits for 92 of the guns, he had numerous long guns that did not require permitting, complicating the determination of legal ownership. Moreover, his pistol license was suspended following his arrest, per the New York Post.
Rex Heuermann’s charges and background
Rex Heuermann, a 59-year-old architectural consultant residing in Massapequa Park, was arrested in July and faces three counts of first-degree murder related to the deaths of Melissa Barthelemy in 2009, and Megan Waterman and Amber Costello in 2010, according to Suffolk County prosecutors.
These killings were part of a series of murders that drew national attention when the remains of the women were discovered in close proximity to each other near Gilgo Beach in December 2010.
The discovery of these women’s remains, along with the uncovering of other sets of human remains along Long Island’s South Shore between 2010 and 2011, prompted a search for a possible serial killer. While Heuermann faces charges in three of these cases, he is the prime suspect in the 2007 disappearance and death of another woman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes.
Rex Heuermann has maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to the charges through his attorney. He is scheduled to appear in court on November 15, where he is expected to receive evidence for review as the legal proceedings continue to unfold, CNN reported.
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