- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Stephanie Rupp was growing increasingly worried about her elderly parents, William and Gayle Maurer, that cold January weekend. She had spoken with her mother the previous Saturday night, making plans to meet at church the next morning.

But they never showed.

Her brother, Jeffrey Maurer, who lived with their parents, insisted to her during repeated phone calls that the two had left town early Sunday morning to help a sick friend. And he stuck with that story right up until Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the couple beaten to death the next day, their bodies stashed in the back of their PT Cruiser in the garage of their Rochester Hills home.

“My parents were very loving, thoughtful and generous,” Rupp testified tearfully today as her brother, in an orange jail jumpsuit sat emotionless, staring straight ahead. “They were remarkable human beings.”

Maurer, 54, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the bludgeoning deaths of his father, 87, a retired elementary school teacher, and his mother, 85, a homemaker and retired secretary. If convicted as charged, Maurer faces life in prison without parole.

Police and prosecutors contend the son planned the killings, with the intent of taking his parents’ money, and then beat them to death sometime late on the night of Jan. 17, or in the early morning hours of Jan. 18.

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Ken Frazee told the 11 men and three women on the jury that Maurer used two hammers and a tea pot to attack his parents. The attack began in the kitchen, likely as they were preparing for bed, since they were wearing pajamas.

“He beat them again and again, he beats them about the head, at some point he breaks the hammer, so he takes a break from the action to get another hammer,” Frazee said.

It was a frenzied killing, he said, based on the blood spatter found in the kitchen. “As people are being hit and dying, their blood is flying about the room.”

In the hours after the killing, Maurer attempted to clean up the blood and had stuffed bloody clothes and rags into garbage bags. It was likely he planned to flee with the bodies, Frazee said. But was stymied when the PT Cruiser’s battery went dead. Police found the car hooked up to a battery charger at the same time they discovered the bodies.

Defense attorney Michael McCarthy conceded jurors might find “substantial evidence that points the finger at Jeffrey Maurer,” but said there was no evidence to show it was premeditated murder. Jurors can consider second-degree murder, which does not carry a mandatory life sentence.

“I submit there is no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of premeditation or deliberation,” McCarthy said.

Maurer sat motionless. He has refused to wear street clothes provided by his attorney for trial, and instead wore the jail jump suit marked OCJ for Oakland County Jail. He died not watch the testimony, and did not look at photos projected on a wall, showing his parents smiling, his family home where the killings took place, and the bloody evidence gathered by police.

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He also did not respond when his attorney whispered to him in court.

The trial, before Oakland County Circuit judge Colleen O’Brien is expected to last the week.

Contact L.L. Brasier: 248-858-2262 or [email protected]

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Topics: t000002458,t000027866,t000149877,t000027879,t000002478


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