Judge denies accused killer Michael Crane's request to represent himself

Posted: Updated:
Michael Lee Crane appeared in court Monday morning. By Jennifer Thomas Michael Lee Crane appeared in court Monday morning. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has denied an accused killer's request to represent himself.

Michael Lee Crane had requested to act as his own attorney in his two upcoming criminal trials, one of which includes three first-degree murder charges that carry with them the possibility of a death sentence.

"Sir, I believe I have always acted as my own attorney," Crane told Judge Warren Granville in a hearing Monday morning.

Crane stands accused in the grisly robberies and murders of Valley businessman Bruce Gaudet and Paradise Valley couple Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro earlier this year.

"Your laws don't apply to me," Crane told Granville as the judge patiently but forcefully cautioned Crane about the perils of self-representation.

In documents released by the Maricopa County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon, Granville stated, "This Court finds that Defendant's refusal to accept this Court's rulings and authority to preside, however politely stated, would disrupt and delay the orderly progress of his case."

The judge also noted that it did not appear Crane adequately understood the limits he would be placing upon himself and his ability to adequately mount a defense while in custody.