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Georgia man guilty of killing 8 in mobile home

Jerry Word Office GeorgiCapital Defender left  talks Guy Heinze Jr.  when jury came out watch video crime scene

Jerry Word of the Office of the Georgia Capital Defender, left, talks to Guy Heinze, Jr. when the jury came out to watch a video of the crime scene walk through earlier today, Thursday, October 24, 2013, in Glynn County Superior Court in Brunswick, Ga. Heinze is accused of killing his father and seven other people in a mobile home park in Glynn County in August, 2009. (AP Photo/The Brunswick News/Michael Hall, POOL)

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Updated: October 25, 2013 2:56PM

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Prosecutors who won a conviction against a Georgia man in the slayings of eight people say they dropped a possible death sentence in a deal with defense lawyers that allowed them to avoid a mistrial.

A jury convicted 26-year-old Guy Heinze Jr. of malice murder on Friday, four hours after the trial judge excused one jury member and replaced him with an alternate juror.

Prosecutor John B. Johnson told reporters “a situation” with one juror had the jury deadlocked. Heinze’s lawyers agreed to excuse that juror if prosecutors took the death penalty off the table. Johnson says neither side wanted a mistrial, which would have meant trying Heinze again.

Heinze will be sentenced to life in prison, either with or without possible parole, for the Aug. 29, 2009 slayings.

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