Game Console Theft Leads to Double Homicide

December 22, 2011 -

What started out as a robbery to pay for a tattoo ended with the death of a 7-year old girl and her uncle, according Marion County, Indiana prosecutors. Two defendants, 22-year-old Michael Bell Jr., 25-year-old Jeremy Priel, are accused of collaborating in a plot to obtain a PlayStation 3 console that Bell wanted to trade for tattoo work, according to court documents charging the two men with murder.

Both men told different stories about how the events unfolded and how the two victims died. Bell and Priel are accused of murdering 21-year-old Jeremy Crane and his niece Kyleigh Crane. Court documents offer different accounts of the killings and statements that Bell and Priel gave to police during questioning.

Bell was looking for a way to make money to have some tattoo work done, court documents allege. Bell offered to obtain a PS3 and allegedly told Priel that he knew where he could find one. The place he spoke of was the home of Bell's close friend Jeremy Crane, where he once lived.

Bell told police that he accompanied Priel to Crane's door where they asked if they could use the bathroom. When Bell and Priel entered the house, Kyleigh Crane was on the couch watching cartoons. Bell said that the plan was that once he was in the bathroom, Priel would "rob everyone."

Bell said that he emerged from the bathroom when he heard Jeremy Crane yelling for him. At that point, Priel pointed a gun at Bell and told him to lie on the floor along with the two victims -- part of a ruse they allegedly concocted.

After that, Priel shot Jeremy Crane, wounding him. Priel shot him again in the head. Bell said he was close enough to get blood spattered on him. Bell also admitted to stepping over Jeremy Crane's body to collect two video-game consoles: a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360. Bell finished by telling police that he didn't see the shooting of Kyleigh Crane, because he had fled with the game consoles. He told detectives he heard another gunshot after leaving the house.

Bell's story to police conflicted with an earlier story in which he denied ever going inside the home with Priel.

Priel later pawned the game consoles for $40 and an ounce of marijuana, according to court documents. Two men took the consoles to the Cumberland Police Department after seeing news reports of the killings and the missing video-game systems.

Priel told police that Bell was alone when he went to get the game systems and he denied knowing exactly where Bell got them from. In one interview, he told police he waited for Bell at a carwash, while Bell went to get a PlayStation 3 from the home of a former girlfriend. In a later interview, Priel said Bell got it from a male friend.

Authorities do not know which of the two men fired the bullets that killed the victims, Prosecutor Terry Curry said.

"At this point, there is not sufficient evidence to identify who might have pulled the trigger," Curry said. "Additional forensic testing might help make that determination."

The game systems and a discarded cellphone helped lead police to Bell and Priel. They were arrested on Sunday. Police do not believe a dispute between Bell and Jeremy Crane led to the killings.

"They worked at the same place, at MCL, and Jeremy Crane was a team leader there," Cumberland Police Chief Michael Crooke said. "Bell had worked there but was fired, but not by Jeremy."

Prosecutors are not sure yet if they will seek the death penalty in this case.

"We review every single homicide that has aggravator factors present that would potentially involve consideration of the death penalty or life without parole, and those aggravators are present here," Curry said.

Curry added that this crime involves "a victim under age 12, more than one victim and the fact a robbery is alleged to have occurred in conjunction with a homicide." Curry will meet with detectives and the Crane family in the weeks ahead and make a decision on what they will seek at trial. He does not expect to make a decision on whether to seek the death penalty for at least 30 days. Bell and Priel are scheduled to hear formal charges against them at 9 a.m. today in Marion Superior Court.

Source: Indy Star


 
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Andrew EisenMarvel has replaced Manara on the variant covers for Thor #2 and Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #1. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Marvel is learning the right lesson here.09/23/2014 - 6:26pm
quiknkoldI'm 7 years old, and my cousin(Also 7, maybe 8 at this time) tells me has Battletoads. its Summer Vacation. We play and play and play until finally, We won coop. Those were the days.09/23/2014 - 5:29pm
quiknkoldlets take a moment to share some gaming memories, shall we?09/23/2014 - 5:28pm
MechaTama31I buy stuff off the eshop because it gives me the convenience of a flashcart without the guilt.09/23/2014 - 5:03pm
Montewell thanks for the info Eisen; try that the next time i need something off the eshop09/23/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgere: MP, i've sent tech support a note - thank you :)09/23/2014 - 3:14pm
IanCNah that wasnt directed at you Andrew :)09/23/2014 - 3:00pm
Papa MidnightRe: SIEGE 2014 Keynote: oh dear...09/23/2014 - 2:44pm
MaskedPixelanteDear GP, something called "doubleverify" is causing some nasty browser issues on my end. Probably one of your ads.09/23/2014 - 2:36pm
Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a dog's age just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while! (And it's still not there yet, in a lot of respects.)09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
 

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