The murder of Jerry Heard was the subject of the sixth episode of the TV One true-crime series "ATL Homicide." Heard's body was discovered dumped in a wooded area in southwest Atlanta in July 2002.
"ATL Homicide" recreates cases as told by David Quinn and Vince Velazquez, two retired Atlanta Police Department homicide detectives. Quinn has called the show "like an APD greatest hits LP for us."
Some of these cases were followed by local media at the time but others, such as Heard's murder, were under the radar. Previous episodes featured the cases of Tereon Grant, Alan Watson, Shaquilla Weatherspoon, John Ray and Sparkle Rai.
Here are two "Law & Order" briefs that the AJC published regarding the Jerry Heard case:
From July 23, 2002:
Law & Order briefs: Gunshot victim found on dirt road
The body of a 45-year-old Atlanta man was discovered Monday along a secluded dirt road in southeast Atlanta. A man walking his dog found the body of Jerry L. Heard along Springdale Place near Springdale Drive. Atlanta police Sgt. Keith Meadows said Heard was partially clothed and had a single gunshot wound to the chest. Meadows said investigators believe the man's body was dumped in the wooded area not far from Browns Mill Road and Cleveland Avenue overnight. "At this point, there is no physical evidence to suggest that the victim was murdered at this particular location," Meadows said. "There is some evidence to suggest that the victim might have been brought here in a vehicle of some sort," he said. "We're possibly looking for some of sport utility vehicle."
From June 22, 2004:
Law & Order briefs: Killer sentenced in shooting case
Larry Compton, 30, has been sentenced to life plus five years in prison for fatally shooting a man he had a long-running dispute with, the Fulton County district attorney's office said Monday. Witnesses testified that they heard shots and later saw Compton and others struggling to place the body of Jerry Lamar Heard, 45, into the trunk of a car in July 2002. Heard's body was found by a passer-by in a dump site. Compton was found guilty Friday on four counts, including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.
For more information about the details of the Jerry Heard case, check out this 2006 Georgia Supreme Court decision based on Larry Compton's appeal.