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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james_fudgeprh99: Whether you agree with the article or not, fighting alleged censorship with censorship is hella lame10/02/2014 - 4:27am
james_fudgewhoever made that decision at Intel will regret it later on down the road. Boycotts are tricky business.10/02/2014 - 4:26am
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
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