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William Craig Miller, accused of murdering 5 in insurance fraud cover-up, may face death penalty

(CBS) – William Craig Miller, the 34-year-old defendant charged in the gruesome 2006 murders of five people in Mesa, Ariz. to cover up an arson-insurance fraud, may face the death penalty if the judge decides it fits the crime.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez described the murders in a preliminary trial in detail for Judge Janet Barton, who said she would rule later on whether Miller qualifies for the death penalty, reports The Arizona Republic.

On Feb. 21, 2006, Tammy Lovell, 32, was shot three times execution-style and her son Jacob Lovell, 10, was shot in the forehead at point-blank range, even though he raised his hands in surrender, Martinez said in court, according to the paper.

Lovell’s boyfriend, Steven Duffy, 30, had been shot four times, twice in the face. Duffy’s brother, Shane, 18, was shot in the face, and Lovell’s daughter, Cassandra, 15, was shot in the chest.

They were shot, according to Martinez, because Steven Duffy and Tammy Lovell had helped police obtain evidence against Miller for torching his own house as part of an insurance scam.

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to the Nov. 26, 2005, arson after a different judge, Margaret Mahoney, ruled that tape-recorded police interviews with Duffy and Lovell could be used in the trial, the paper reports.

The murder trial is set to begin Aug. 1, with jury selection.

CBSNews

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Written by lordsinsurancelog

May 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Posted in Insurance News