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Prosecutors: Man arrested in Paradise Valley, Ariz., killings was freed from jail weeks before
PHOENIX (AP) ' A man arrested in the killing of a couple in a wealthy Phoenix suburb had been jailed in December on suspicion of illegally possessing weapons but was released days later because prosecutors needed more time to develop their case, authorities said.
Suspect Michael Crane had been booked into Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of eight felonies, including illegally possessing weapons and body armor, The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/wDWueG) reported Thursday.
However, no charges were filed by the county attorney's office, according to records from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
The case was returned to Phoenix investigators to get more information to assist in the prosecution, and Crane was freed pending that additional investigative legwork, said Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
"We face a necessarily high burden as the state to prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and sometimes that means to request an additional investigation to ensure that we have the necessary evidence to support a charge," Cobb said. "We're willing to defend our decision."
Crane, 31, was later arrested on two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and armed robbery, and one count each of burglary and arson in connection with the deaths of Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro in Paradise Valley.
Also arrested in connection with the case were Kelly Steward, 29, of Glendale; Shawn Nicloy, 29, of Phoenix; Brittnay Beinhauer, 27, of Tempe; and Danielle Rossman, 26, of Phoenix.
Steward faces one charge each of theft and trafficking in stolen property, Nicloy faces one count each of trafficking in stolen property and hindering prosecution, Beinhauer faces two counts of theft, and Rossman faces one count each of possession of stolen property, trafficking in stolen property, and hindering prosecution.
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com