The Main Stream

Jun 14, 2012 10:50 PM

Paradise Valley murder suspect competent for trial

PHOENIX (AP) - A man accused in the killings of an elderly Paradise Valley couple and a Phoenix cigar salesman earlier this year has been declared competent to stand trial.

The decision came down Thursday at a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court for 31-year-old Michael Lee Crane.

Crane is charged in the Jan. 25 killing of Bruce Gaudet and the Jan. 30 murders of Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro. The Shapiros were philanthropists in their 70s.

Authorities say all three homicide victims were robbed and their homes were set on fire.

Crane also faces charges of arson and kidnapping. He has pleaded not guilty and has sometimes acted bizarrely in court.

Five other people are being held for their alleged roles in the Shapiro murders and one other person in Gaudet's death.

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