BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Peggy Parish said the small town has been reeling from the murders at the New Hope Plantation mobile home park for four years.
She said everyone in the town talked about the tragedy leading up to the trial, so when she got summoned for jury duty, she worried she already knew too much.
"They had already selected who they wanted from Brunswick," she said.
While Parish wasn't selected to sit on the jury, she said it would have been difficult to weigh the emotional case.
"I am a very logical thinker, so I would have weighed the facts as they were presented, and I would have wanted to see justice served."
Families of the 8 victims beaten to death in the small mobile home say justice was served and were visibly relieved as Guy Heinze Jr. was found guilty on all counts.
But Heinze's brother had to be escorted from the courtroom, screaming expletives at the prosecutor.
The jury had a hard time reaching the verdict, with one juror removed from the case after two days of deliberations.
Before seating an alternate, the judge removed the death penalty as an option in the case, but he did not explain why that one juror was sent home.
"I don't know the circumstances behind the juror that was released. That would be interesting to find out," Parish said.
After the new panel was seated, the panel only took five hours to bring back guilty verdicts on every count, including a count of aggravated assault with intent to murder the one surviving victim of the attack, a 7-year-old boy who was just 3 years old when he was nearly beaten to death.
Parish says the community has made it their duty to keep him safe.
"If that young boy stays in this area, he will be surrounded by wonderfulness. I can't hand that experience to anybody, you just have to live it to know," Parish said.
First Coast News