2 Sentenced to prison in connection with P.V. murders

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Six months ago it was the story dominating Valley news -- the brutal murders of a Phoenix businessman namef Bruce Gaudet and and a well-known Paradise Valley couple named Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro.

Now two of the players in that frightening drama are on their way to prison.

Brittany Beinhauer, 28, and Katherine Austin, 26, on Tuesday were both given prison terms by Judge Warren Granville after entering deals with prosecutors. 

Beinhauer and Austin are friends of accused killer Michael Lee Crane and both women have admitted to helping Crane after he allegedly robbed, killed his victims and then set their homes on fire.

Beinhauer, whom veteran prosecutor Suzanne Cohan identied as one of Crane's "girlfriends," will spend the next two years and three months behind bars after pleading guilty to one count of credit-card theft.  When she was taken into custody, she had several of victim Gaudet's credit cards in her possession.

Austin was given a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of hindering the prosecution. Austin told investigators that she help Crane dump several suitcases taken for the Shapiro's P.V. home in the desert near New River.

Five other people are still facing charges in the high-profile case, including Crane, who has pleaded not guilty in the three murders.