Trial set to begin in Target slaying

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The trial for the woman accused of gunning down her daughter-in-law at a Snellville Target store while disguised as a mustachioed man is scheduled to begin this week.

On the afternoon of April 26, 2009, 25-year-old Conyers resident Heather Strube and her husband, Steven, met at the target on Ga. Highway 124 to swap custody of their 18-month-old son.

Moments after Steven Strube drove away, police said, someone approached Heather, ultimately shooting the young mother once in the head before fleeing.

Original sketches released suggested that Strube's killer was a slim man wearing a wig and fake mustache. Surveillance video later hinted the killer could have been a woman.

The suspect, authorities believe, turned out to be then-46-year-old Joanna Hayes, the victim's mother-in-law.

In October 2009, almost six months after the slaying, Hayes, a Luthersivlle resident, was detained by officers from the Meriwether County and Snellville police departments.

She has remained in custody at Gwinnett County Jail since.

Mary Allen, the victim's mother, told the Daily Post at the time that her daughter was "giving, kind, ambitious and loving."

The Strubes had been in the final stages of a divorce at the time of her murder.

Hayes' trial is scheduled to begin Monday in front of Judge Warren Davis at Gwinnett County Superior Court.