Paradise Valley Murders: Heavily Redacted Arrest Report Released; Michael Crane Discussed Setting House On Fire
The arrest reports for the six people allegedly connected to the brutal murders of a Paradise Valley couple last month were unsealed this afternoon, but offer little new information about the murders -- it's so heavily redacted that one of the pages is completely blacked out, with the exception of one sentence.
One of the tidbits that isn't redacted is that Michael Crane, the man suspected of murdering Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro, discussed the crimes with one of the other defendants in the case.
According to the report, Crane, 31, told Kelly Ann Steward -- who's charged with theft and trafficking stolen property for allegedly selling property stolen from the Shapiros -- that he burned down the couple's home, presumably in an attempt to coverup the murders.
The manner in which Crane allegedly murdered the Shapiros is redacted in the document, and hasn't been released by authorities.
The Shapiros were found dead in their home near 40th Street and Camelback Road on the morning of January 31. When police got to the Shapiros' house, it was on fire. The Shapiros were bound and burned beyond recognition.
Theonly reason police went to the home was because they found a car registered to the Shapiros on fire near 7th Street and Union Hills Drive. After finding the car, Paradise Valley police went to the Shapiros' home -- and that's when they discovered the house was on fire, and there were two bodies inside.
The suspects arrested -- and the charges on which they've been booked -- are:
- Michael Lee Crane, 31, residence unknown, two counts first-degree murder; two counts kidnapping; two counts of armed robbery; one count of burglary; one count of arson.
- Kelly Steward, 29, of Glendale, one count of theft; one count trafficking in stolen property.
- Brittnay Beinhauer, 27, of Tempe: two counts of theft.
- Shawn Nicloy, 29, Phoenix: one count trafficking in stolen property, one count hindering prosecution.
- Danielle Rossman, 26, Phoenix: one count of possession of stolen property, one count of trafficking in stolen property and one count hindering prosecution.
- Katherine Austin, 25, Peoria: one count of hindering prosecution.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections website, Crane and Nicloy each have served time in an Arizona prison.
Crane, it turns out, was in police custody just a few weeks before the murders for various alleged crimes, including dangerous drug possession, possession of stolen property, and possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor.
However, he was released because the Maricopa County Attorney's Office didn't think it had enough evidence to convict him. So, Crane was cut loose. Six weeks later, the Shapiros were dead.
Get the details of the MCAO's decision not to charge Crane here.
Crane's also a suspect in the murder of Bruce Gaudet, a Phoenix cigar salesman, whose bullet-riddled body was found in his burned down home just days before the Shapiros were murdered.
County Attorney Bill Montgomery says evidence suggests that at least one of the suspects was in Gaudet's home.
Despite the apparent link, nobody's been charged with Gaudet's murder. However, on Crane's arrest report, authorities say another murder charge -- in addition to the two counts of first-degree murder he's currently charged with -- is expected. Presumably, the expected charge is for the murder of Gaudet.
Below is the entire (very heavily redacted) arrest report.
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