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Suspect in 3 AZ killings competent to stand trial

PHOENIX – 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.