Suspect in 3 Ariz. murders squawks like bird at competency hearing
Michael Lee Crane was in Maricopa County Superior Court on Thursday for a hearing about his mental capacity to stand trial when he started acting bizarrely.
Crane, 31, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the killings of Bruce Gaudet on Jan. 26 and of Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro on Jan. 30 in separate robberies.
The Shapiros were well-to-do philanthropists in their 70s whose bodies were found tied up and burned beyond recognition in their stylish Paradise Valley home. Gaudet's body was found inside his burning Phoenix condo; he had been shot to death.
When court Commissioner Michael Hintze asked Crane to say his full name, Crane paused for a long time before saying that his name should be written in paperwork in capitalized letters, making him a corporation rather than an individual.
Crane said he wasn't being a "smart aleck" before Hintze simply confirmed Crane's identity with his attorney and the officers.
As he was being wheeled out, Crane let out a loud noise that sounded like a bird squawk.
Hintze postponed Crane's competency hearing until April 19.
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