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Affair leads to shocking Ga. double murder

Family Affair 42:06

Produced by Paul LaRosa, Michelle Feuer and Cassandra Marshall
[This story was originally broadcast on Jan. 7. It was updated on July 14.]

(CBS) SPRINGFIELD, Ga. - On Aug. 25, 2008, hours before dawn, Sheriff Jimmie McDuffie was called to a house on Springfield Egypt Road. He braced himself for what lay ahead.

"I knew then that somebody had been killed, at least two... I did not know who it was. They just gave us an address on a page," Sheriff McDuffie told "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Susan Spencer. "At some point, and I don't remember where that was was like 'Oh my God, that's gotta be Philip's house.'"

Philip was Philip Heidt - a man to be reckoned with in Effingham County, Ga., and a pal of McDuffie's.

"I knew Philip ever since I came to the county back in probably '87, '88..."the sheriff said.

Heidt was a successful real estate developer who'd made millions in this sprawling county about an hour north of Savannah. The patriarch of a close-knit family, he was married to wife Linda for 42 years.

"We met at the county fair in Savannah...and he stole my heart right away...and um, things weren't always easy but...ya know, there was love," Linda Heidt told Spencer.

The couple had three sons: Craig, Chris and Carey, who Linda describes as, "Good men...fine men... They had values and they believed in each other."

Chris Heidt was the middle son.

"We got along well. We were family, nobody was perfect...but we grew up very close together," Chris explained. "Each of us had our own personalities."

"Were the brothers very different?" Spencer asked Carey's wife, Robin Heidt.

"They're all three pretty different, yeah. Chris and Craig are the most alike," she replied. "They both like to hunt, outdoors things like that... And Carey was the baby of the family."

It was Carey who followed his dad into real estate, becoming his business partner. He and wife Robin had three kids of their own.

"Carey and I met in high school our senior year in English class," said Robin.

"You had a big smile when you said that," Spencer commented.

"Yeah, um, we were really good friends in the beginning and realized that I was in love with Carey...and not long after high school we got married."

"When he asked you to marry him, then this just seemed like this was meant to be?"

"It was definitely meant to be, yes," said Robin.

The Heidt clan was turning out just as its patriarch had hoped.

"Philip wanted the family to be perfect... good Christian family, good folks...and Philip was just - he was the man of the house," said McDuffie.

"Popular?" Spencer asked.

"Popular, extremely," the sheriff said.

Murder just didn't fit with the seemingly perfect family the sheriff knew so well... too well for him to oversee the case, he decided. So on that first day, McDuffie turned the case over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

In charge was Agent Eugene Howard, who quickly realized that the crime scene was not what it seemed.

"The scene was staged to look like it was a burglary," said Agent Howard.

The killer had cut the phones lines and smashed a pane of glass in a door.

"There was nothing of note taken; jewelry was still present. Nothing was rummaged through. There was money left out," Howard explained. "No impression that anything was taken from inside the residence."

"So you think that's just because the person panicked and fled before they had a chance to take anything?" asked Spencer.

"No," Howard replied. "Robbery wasn't the motive. Murder was the motive."

"There were three victims shot, each with a single shotgun blast," Medical Examiner Dr. James Downs explained.

"The shooter comes to Carey first. Fires. ...The shooter leaves Carey, proceeds to the parents' bedroom...the second shot was to Philip. Linda was the mother...she's comin' outta the bathroom to see what's going on because she doesn't have a clue... the left side of her face was extensively damaged and then the shot continued through her right shoulder.

"Both of the men had similar entry wounds -- that is a shotgun wound to the face," Downs said of murder victims Philip and Carey Heidt.

Based on those injuries and the pellets found at the scene, the medical examiner says the shooter used a 12-gauge shotgun; up close and personal.

"How close roughly are we talking about here?" Spencer asked Downs.

"Based on what I've seen at the scene, looking at the photographs, my estimate was something like two feet," he replied. "You're two feet away, my goodness. You don't really need to aim. You just kinda point and shoot."

To get an idea of the damage a 12-gauge shotgun does at such close range, "48 Hours" asked the sheriff's firearms instructor, Ed Myrick, to demonstrate using the same model shotgun, the same type of buckshot and the same three-inch shell used by the killer.

"This is the Remington 870," Myrick explained. "This is their most popular shotgun."

"What would this do if fired at a person?" Spencer asked.

"If you're gonna fire that at someone, it's a deadly force incident," Myrick replied.

Given the close range, Linda probably would have died instantly had she not turned her head at the moment of impact.

"It's amazing that she did survive because, basically, it looks like she was left for dead," said Downs.

But, almost as if the power of those shotgun blasts wasn't enough, the gunman next drenched the entire house in gasoline.

"The gas fumes out by the road were just horrific," McDuffie recalled. "You could smell it from the road."

"I wrote down in my journal that I knew what hell smelled like...Gasoline and gunpowder," Linda told Spencer. "I remember smelling the gas..."

"You had gasoline on your clothes?" asked Spencer.

"Yeah, well, I was sitting on the floor so I knew they were wet."

But the killer never set the gas ablaze, perhaps panicking when he heard Linda's desperate call to 911.

News of the murders spread quickly in this rural southern community and so did fear.

"They must've thought a killer [was] on the loose," said Spencer.

According to McDuffie, "They did."

Investigators checked the alibi of a local drug dealer, but quickly ruled him out. They next turned their attention to the Heidt's real estate dealings.

"Every time Philip had had an argument with somebody, you know, we had to go and investigate and talk to those folks...see what was going on with it," said McDuffie.

They found no motive and no suspect. Then Sheriff McDuffie recalled an unsettling conversation he's had with Carey Heidt only a month earlier.

"...he knew that his wife was runnin' around on him," McDuffie said. "But he did not tell me who it was with."

"That must've been something of a shock," said Spencer.

"It was," the sheriff replied, "'cause every time you saw them together it was just like the perfect family."

As the whole county soon would learn, it was hardly the perfect family. Not only was the marriage on the rocks, but even more shockingly, Robin Heidt was having an affair with her husband's older brother, Craig.

"I'm definitely a woman in the center of a storm," said Robin.

Only hours into the Heidt murder investigation - as Linda Heidt fought for her life - the whispers began: Rumors that this seemingly perfect Southern family was anything but.

"It's not something that I'm proud of, but it's a mistake that anyone could make..." said Robin Heidt.

Robin Heidt's "mistake" was having an affair. That happens...but an affair with your husband's brother?

Robin admits she made the first move on her brother-in-law, Craig.

"I told him that I had feelings for him that were more than, you know, brother- and sister-in-law feelings and he said that he shared the same feelings," she told Spencer. " just took off from there..."

Craig Heidt, the self-described "black sheep" of the family, was divorced, owed child support, was unemployed and lived off disability checks. Robin found him irresistible.

Asked if she was head over heels in love, Robin told Susan Spencer, "I was infatuated, not love."

Robin says she still loved her husband.

"Where did you think this was gonna go?" Spencer asked.

"I wasn't really sure. I was really confused... and I told Carey about it two weeks into the affair," Robin replied.

"Was he prepared for this?"

"No, he wasn't prepared and Craig did not want me to tell Carey."

"Why did you?"

"I just couldn't hide it from him," Robin said. "He knew that something was wrong with me and that I wasn't acting like myself."

But telling her husband about the affair didn't stop Robin from pursuing it. Never mind that brother-in-law thing and never mind her three children who at that time were 10, 7 and 3 years old.

"I definitely wasn't thinking about my children when I did it, how it would affect them," said Robin.

The relationship got more intense, with Robin and Craig often sneaking off to an isolated hunting cabin.

"Whenever people hear about these situations, they say, 'This is why there's divorce,' you know?" Spencer commented to Robin. "People just -- sometimes these things happen and people get divorced."

"It was very complicated, because Carey was very dead set against a divorce," Robin said. "...he told me when we were married that we were gonna be married for life."

Video: Hear more from Robin Heidt

Her husband was distraught, but he was no fool. A few weeks before he died, Carey Heidt changed his $3.5 million life insurance policy, removing Robin as the beneficiary.

"I did not find out until after Carey passed away that he had the life insurance money put into a trust fund for our three children," she said.

And his father, Philip, told Craig flat out: Knock it off with your brother's wife or lose your entire inheritance.

"There was a lot of tension... very heated conversations, several very heated conversations," Robin told Spencer. "It was very much a mess."

"I mean, this sounds like it's just completely spiraling out of control," said Spencer.

"It was, 'cause I had never seen Mr. Philip that angry," she said.

In August 2008, the weekend before the murders, Robin, once again, was up at Craig's cabin.

"So I had a few drinks there and ended up staying that night," she explained.

Robin and Craig got a rude awakening the next morning.

"We heard a helicopter that sounded like it was very low," she said,

Philip had tracked them down, enlisting a friend with a helicopter to take photos to get hard evidence of Robin's infidelity.

"I looked at Craig and I said, 'That helicopter is here watching us,'" Robin told Spencer.

"And what was Craig's reaction to this?"

"Very angry...and that Carey and Philip had better watch out or he was going to play 'old school' on them," replied Robin. "I wasn't sure; I wasn't sure what that meant."

She then went home, where she and husband Carey had a nasty argument.

"And how did this end?" asked Spencer.

"Him leaving and he said, 'I'm gonna go stay with mom and dad tonight,'" said Robin.

Asked if he had ever done that before, Robin said, "No."

"Everyone was very upset, very on pins and needles, not knowin' what to say or what to do or how they could help," Linda Heidt told Spencer.

"How did you expect this was going to be resolved?"

"I thought that Carey and Robin would probably divorce and then, if the situation between Craig and Robin still worked out, that they would be together," she said.

Later that Sunday, Robin called her lover, Craig.

"I told him that Carey had left and he asked me where he had gone and I said that he'd gone to, uh, his parents and he said, 'OK,'" said Robin.

It was the night of the murders.

"When did you find out what had happened?" Spencer asked Robin.

"Around 5 o'clock in the morning, on Monday morning," she said. "I was asleep and, um, I heard knocking on the door."

Detectives gave Robin the news.

"And the detective asked me if I knew of anyone that would have wanted to hurt Carey and Philip and I just said, '...I mean I just can't think of anything right now,'" Robin said. "I just, I was just in shock..."

"Craig doesn't just instantly occur to you?" Spencer asked.

"No," replied Robin.

"As many fights as they'd had and as much bad blood as there was at this point?"

"It did not," she replied. "It did not come in my mind right away."

She confronted her lover that afternoon.

Robin told Spencer, "I walked right up to him and I said, 'Did you do this?' and he said, 'I can't believe you would ask me that.' I said, 'I need a yes or no. Did you do this?' And he said, 'No.'"

"And you believed him?"

"I did 'cause the Craig Heidt that I know couldn't commit such an act," she replied.

Investigators weren't so sure. As Linda Heidt slowly recovered, they all wondered the same thing: Could the only surviving witness of the crime identify the killer?

By noon the day of the murders, Robin Heidt had admitted to investigators that the shocking rumors were true: Yes, she was having an affair with her brother-in-law, Craig.

Craig Heidt interrogation:

Investigator: Why are we getting indications that you had sexual relations with Robin?

Craig Heidt: I am not having sex with Robin.

But Craig was having none of it.

"He says flat out, no affair," Spencer commented to Agent Eugene Howard.

"He denied that there was an affair at all," said Howard.

Craig Heidt: I know that it looks bad but I'm gonna tell you something, I couldn't do that to my brother.

"I can't even describe how it made me feel - sick," said Robin.

Over the next few days when talking with police at the crime scene, Craig made several more startling statements.

"He pointed out to the officer that was present, that was doin' security, that his shotgun was missin'," Agent Howard told Spencer.

"Had the officer asked about his shotgun?"

"No," Howard replied. "He later said that his boots were missin'."

"Hadn't asked about that either?"

"Hasn't asked," Howard said. "And through conversation with both Craig and his brother, they said at one point that they thought a gas can was missing."

A shotgun, boots and a gas can -- all missing, all possibly related to the crime and all tied to Craig Heidt.

"Did he have an alibi for that night?" Spencer asked Prosecutor Michael Muldrew.

"No. Actually, he was the only one that did not have an alibi," Muldrew said. "He lied about things he didn't even need to lie about. It's just his character."

Craig Heidt: I swear to you on my momma's life.

He lied, says Muldrew, even when taking a lie detector test.

"What questions did he fail?" Spencer asked Muldrew.

"It was somethin' to the effect of.'Were you holdin' a shotgun when your parents were killed,' I believe," he said.

"That's a pretty significant question," Spencer noted.

"Yeah," agreed Muldrew.

And when Agent Howard asked Craig directly -- had he killed his father and brother and shot his mother in the face -- Craig said he didn't know.

"...if he did it, he had no recollection of it," Agent Howard told Spencer.

"He actually said that?"

"Basically. Yes," said Howard.

Asked if suspects often say this, Howard said, "No. And we commonly call that in law enforcement just the wrong answer."

But the answer investigators most wanted was from the grievously wounded Linda Heidt. Could she identify the killer? Though improving in a Savannah hospital, she was still unable to talk.

Then one day, an officer guarding Linda saw something that set off alarm bells.

"Craig had entered the room-- put his hand on his mother's and said, 'Mom...this is Craig.'" Officer James Dingledein said. "And her blood pressure went from I believe it was 98 and skyrocketed to about 140... Her eyes got really wide. And she had been shaking as if she was afraid."

"What did you take from that?" Spencer asked the officer.

"I took [it] that -- she-- she's scared for a reason," he replied.

Linda Heidt says that is ridiculous.

"How do you interpret that? What do you think was going on?" Spencer asked Linda.

"I don't know. Maybe it was from hearing talk that was going on around me," she said.

"Not a fear response?"

"No, not a fear response," said Linda.

Weeks later, investigators finally were able to interview Linda.

Asked if she could you identify the person, Linda told Spencer, "I didn't see a face or anything. ...I did not see Craig in that room. ...I did not see anyone in there. The blast was what I saw."

"Can you be absolutely certain that it was not Craig?"

"Yes, I can. I know my child. I know the man he is. I know the heart he has. He does not have a cold blooded heart," she replied. "I can be certain that Craig did not do this to our family."

"Have you ever looked him in the eye, and said, 'Craig, son, did you do this?" Spencer asked.

"Yes, I have," Linda said. "And he's looked me right straight in the eye, and said, 'No, momma, I did not do this. I couldn't do this.'"

But investigators zeroed in on Craig Heidt early on and their case got stronger when Agent Howard followed up on a colleague's hunch.

"Investigator John Bradley with the sheriff's department mentioned, 'I wonder how his arm looks,'" Howard said. "Typically that type of ammo shot from that weapon will leave a bruise."

So Howard asked Craig to take off his shirt.

"There was two bruises on his right biceps and one on his left. There were three shots at the home that that killed Carey, one that killed Philip and the one that wounded Linda. So those bruises were significant," said Howard.

"How long does it take for a bruise like this to show up?" Spencer asked Ed Myrick, the sheriff's firearms instructor.

"Sometimes they can be immediate," he said. "This one right about 48-to-50 pounds of pressure on your shoulder of recoil."

"No question you'd be bruised," Spencer noted. "Is there any way to avoid it?"

"I don't see how, no," said Myrick.

Craig Heidt insisted the bruises came not from a shotgun, but from a freak fall -- a misstep in the shower that sent him headfirst over the toilet.

"It was laughable," Muldrew said. "Not only was it laughable, it was scientifically and physically impossible."

The bruises, the affair, the lies and the missing items... all were circumstantial. Investigators wanted a stronger case. So the GBI just kept watching Craig Heidt and Robin. So did everyone else in town.

"It was very, very difficult," she said. "He was being, you know, basically treated as the murderer... And me as a conspirator right there along with him."

And then, four months after the murders, Craig Heidt moved in with his brother's widow and their three kids.

"What did you think when you heard this?" Spencer asked Sheriff Jimmie McDuffie.

"I think most of the community thought it was like a slap in the face," he replied.

"It didn't do anything for Craig, his appearance of innocence for him to be staying there," said Linda.

"It was not smart. It was definitely not smart," Robin said. " And my family was telling me, you know, 'Do you know how this looks?' I mean, and I was, like, 'I don't really care what people think. I believe that he's innocent."

But now prosecutors had their motive: Craig wanted not just his brother's wife, but his brother's life... and had killed to get it.

"He is livin' in his dead brother's house, sleepin' in his dead brother's bed next to his dead brother's wife. He is taking his dead brother's children to school," Muldrew said. "And he's drivin' his dead brother's truck. ...he has become, for all practical purposes, Carey Heidt."

Nine months after the Heidt family murders came bombshell news: Craig Heidt was about to marry Robin, his dead brother's wife.

"You were gonna get married to Craig. Take the kids. Get out of Effingham," Susan Spencer commented to Robin Heidt.

"That was the plan, the future plans," she replied.

The community had some questions.

Sheriff Jimmie McDuffie said he was asked, "'Why aren't y'all puttin' him in jail?' I had one lady even call me and tell me I need to go see the governor and make the governor make GBI make an arrest."

Finally, in May 2009, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation made its move, arresting Craig Heidt for the murder of his brother.

"Did that shake your faith in him?" Susan Spencer asked Robin Heidt.

"No," she said. "I was convinced he was innocent and that he was being treated unfairly."

Craig also was charged with killing his father, Philip, and attempting to kill his mother, Linda. But Linda is convinced that her oldest son is innocent, denying suspicions that she secretly knows otherwise.

"As a mother, I could not sacrifice the son that was killed and my husband that was killed to protect another son if I really thought that that son did that," Linda told Spencer.

Brother Chris is just as sure. "It took a coward to walk in at three in the morning into a dark home and do what they did to our family," he said. "...that's not Craig...Craig's not a murderer..."

But prosecutors think a jury will decide that's exactly what he is. On Dec. 1, 2010, the murder trial of Craig Heidt begins in the Effingham County Courthouse.

"When you sit down and dispassionately look at the evidence, it couldn't be anybody but him," said District Attorney Michael Muldrew.

Muldrew argues that the shooting made perfect sense if you thought about it as Craig did.

"'The only way I'm gonna have Robin Heidt and have peace is Momma, Daddy, and Carey have to be eliminated from the equation.' He wanted the big house. He wanted the kids that adored him. He wanted to drive around in the nice truck and the life of leisure of a southern gentleman so to speak," said the district attorney.

Craig Heidt's lawyer, Dow Bonds, says the public perception that Craig somehow was trying to "become" his brother is completely distorted.

"The first thing I noticed about Craig when I first met him was what a genuine person he was and what a gentleman he was," Bonds told Spencer.

In his opening statement, Bonds told the court, "What shocked me was just the clear lack of physical evidence linking him to the murders. There's no DNA. There was no fingerprints. There were no eyewitnesses. There are no confessions..."

Perhaps the prosecution's strongest physical evidence are the bruises on Craig's arms.

To the medical examiner, the explanation is obvious.

"I think they are very consistent with someone who has fired a shotgun," testified Dr. James Downs.

But Craig sticks to his story that he got the bruises in that bizarre bathroom tumble onto the toilet, an event he recreated with himself in the starring role.

The video was made before Craig Heidt had a lawyer.

"If I had been representing him at that time, I would have said...'You know, don't. A reenactment is not a good idea...' But if you look at what Craig was thinking at the time he did that, he was trying to assist them in their investigation...he was cooperating with them," said Bonds.

Prosecutor Muldrew shows the video in court, telling the jury Craig could not possibly have gotten those bruises falling on a toilet.

"To have happened like that is truly impossible," Muldrew said. "Most people that saw it literally laughed at this reenactment he did. was silly."

Brother Chris Heidt was not laughing then or now.

"The position of the bruises on Craig's body were actually impossible to make from a shotgun," said Chris.

Chris says a shotgun would have to be held at a ridiculous angle to get those bruises and Craig knew better...but in the heat of murder? Firearms expert Ed Myrick thinks a shotgun easily could slip.

"And if it does, it's gonna get more on my arm, which is gonna leave more bruising and it's gonna hurt me more," he explained.

"So in an ideal world, if you were shooting, the bruising would be here?" Spencer asked, pointing to the middle of her upper arm.

"Correct," said Myrick.

"But if you're maneuvering around something or in a hurry or whatever, you can also suffer bruises more toward the outside of your arm," noted Spencer.

"Exactly," Myrick said. "If this gun slips at all, it will fall toward your arm and it will definitely tear you alive."

Asked what he believes Craig Heidt did that night, Muldrew told Spencer, "It's not really a matter of what I believe he did. ...It's what I know he did."

For Muldrew, the key to the case against Craig is, quite literally, a key.

"He knew somethin' that very few people knew and that is the location and presence of another outside key...which people commonly have," he said.

The prosecutor thinks Craig smashed the pane of glass to fake a burglary when, in reality, he simply opened the door with that spare key.

"He knew where that key would've been located. He took that key, opened the door, went in," said Muldrew.

And in his haste, Muldrew continues, he forgot to take the key out of the door, where the cops later found it.

Once inside, according to this scenario, Craig methodically went room to room... shooting his brother, his father and his mother all for the love of Robin.

"Do you think their affair had anything whatsoever to do with the murders?" Spencer asked Chris Heidt.

"She's definitely responsible for Carey being in the home that night, 100 percent. If Carey was livin' happily at his house, he'd have never been at my mother and father's that night," he replied.

His mother and brother stand by him, but if Craig Heidt thinks his former lover and sister-in-law is still with him, he's about to get a nasty shock.

"When I looked at him, I just felt disgust, disgust at the affair, disgust at just him period," said Robin.

Only seven months after she'd planned to walk down the aisle to marry Craig Heidt, Robin Heidt instead walked to the witness box to testify against him.

"I wasn't comfortable with the relationship anymore," Robin testified.

After some soul-searching, Robin says she realized the man she once loved just might be a murderer.

"And I would...finally allow things to come into my mind and in my heart," she told Susan Spencer. " know there is this chance that he could have done this."

She knew he was lying to her, she says, especially when he said that he and Carey had patched things up before the shootings.

"The only things coming out of Carey's mouth about Craig were negative," Robin testified.

But the jurors apparently were getting that same negative vibe about everything Robin said.

Juror #11: The way she threw him under the bus just, I mean, that told you right there, she just used him.

And these jurors weren't ready to throw Craig Heidt under the bus without something -- anything -- that directly linked him to the murder scene.

Juror #2: Blood, fingerprints, DNA - where's the gun? Nobody wanted to put a man away for life, you know, without it.

That was precisely the message defense attorney Dow Bonds wanted to get across.

"In every single critical bit of evidence, they want you to make a leap of faith," Bonds told the court in his closing argument. "This is a court of law. This is not a time to take leaps of faith on another man's life here."

But the defense had no qualms about appealing to the jury's emotions, asking Linda Heidt to read a letter her husband, Philip, wrote to Craig two weeks before the murders. It's evidence, Bonds says, that father and son actually were making peace.

Prosecutors pointed out the letter never was sent...and although certainly heart wrenching, they called it irrelevant.

"I'm sure at the time he wrote the letter he hoped that this might somehow resolve itself so that the family hadn't torn apart," said Prosecutor Michael Muldrew.

Craig Heidt never took the stand. On day eight of the trial, the case went to the jury.

Juror #11: The first vote I had voted not guilty.

Juror #9: I was leaning toward a guilty vote, but you know I guess I wanted to make sure that we looked at everything as closely as we possibly could.

Initially the jury split, eight to four, not guilty. But after just six hours that changed.

The verdict was guilty. The jury convicted Craig Heidt on all 11 counts of murder, battery, burglary and attempted arson.

Asked what went though her mind when she heard those words, Linda Heidt told Spencer, "Oh my Lord, no way. This can't be happening. I've got to see if I can see Craig tonight. So I did. I went to the jail and saw him."

"And how was he?" Spencer asked.

"Very emotional," Linda replied.

So what made the jury convict?

Juror #2: Once I seen the bruises that was, like, yeah, he's guilty.

Juror #11: It was his gun missing and to me that was the hardest evidence.

Juror #4: It was the constant lying about everything, and, you know, telling things before they were even asked.

Video: Jurors on reaching a verdict

The judge sentenced Craig Heidt to the maximum: Two life terms plus 85 years, making parole almost impossible.

Robin says a friend told her about the verdict. Asked about the sentence, she told Spencer. "I felt like it was fair."

"Two life terms plus 85 years? You felt like that was fair? I mean, there has to be a part of you that was heartbroken over this," said Spencer.

"Well, I'm not rejoicing," Robin said. "But I feel like they have the right person."

But do authorities have all the right people? Even today, some jurors aren't sure.

Juror #9: Robin Heidt was a manipulative person who stopped at nothing to get what she wanted.

Juror #4: I think Robin played him like a fiddle.

Is there any real evidence to link Robin to the crimes?

"Where along the spectrum do you think her actions fall?" Spencer asked Muldrew.

"I have to go by the evidence," he replied. "And based upon her testimony that she gave against did not appear at the time that she was participating in any plan."

"And you believe her?"

"I didn't say that," Muldrew replied. "I said we have to go by the evidence."

Today, life in Effingham County has returned to normal, or as near normal as it can be in a small community where so many suspicions linger.

Asked if he sees much of Robin these days, Sheriff Jimmie McDuffie told Spencer, "Seems like we run into her quite often around the county."

"And how would you describe the community's take on her right now?"

"The community still wants to know when we're going to arrest her," Sheriff McDuffie replied.

"Well, are you going to arrest her?" Spencer asked.

"If we find evidence that she's done something wrong, by all means," he said.

Robin says that never will happen, because there is no evidence to find.

"I know I didn't do anything. I didn't conspire with Craig. I didn't wish any harm on Carey or Mr. Philip or Miss Linda," she said.

"You've forgiven yourself?" Spencer asked.

"I have. And I know that God's forgiven me," Robin replied.

"Do you think the family has forgiven you?"

"The Heidt family?" Robin asked. "Not really sure. You'd have to ask them."

"What is your view on Robin's role, if any, in this whole awful thing?" Spencer asked Linda Heidt.

"I really would rather not comment on that," she replied.

For Linda, healing has been a much slower process.

"When you look at the future now, and I assume you're doing your best to look ahead -what do you see for the Heidt family?" Spencer asked Linda.

"I see life. I see hope. I see love. I see truth. I see justice. And one day, peace," she replied,

In November 2011, Robin Heidt remarried and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, with her new husband and her three children. The court ruled that both Robin Heidt Cave and Linda Heidt share joint custody of the children.

Craig Heidt's appeal of his conviction will be heard by the Georgia Supreme Court in September.

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