2 Ind. men arraigned in killings of girl, 7, uncle

December 22, 2011 - 2:50 PM
Cumberland Slayings

Homicide suspect Michael Bell, 22, is escorted to a continuance hearing at the City-County Building on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, in Indianapolis. Bell is accused in the Dec. 12 killings of Jeremy Crane and his niece, Kyleigh Crane in Cumberland. Judge Lisa Borges ordered Bell and a second suspect, Jeremy Priel, 25, held for two more days to give prosecutors more time to prepare formal charges in the case. (AP Photo/The Star, Charlie Nye)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors say a video game theft apparently was behind the shooting deaths of a 7-year-old girl and her uncle, who were allegedly slain by a longtime family friend and another man.

Twenty-one-year-old Michael Bell and 25-year-old Jeremy Priel were arraigned Thursday. Both face two counts of murder and other charges for the Dec. 12 killings in the suburban Indianapolis town of Cumberland.

A judge entered not guilty pleas for both Indianapolis men, who prosecutors say killed the girl and her uncle before stealing electronic games.

Bell is a longtime family friend whom the girl affectionately called "Uncle Mike."

Relatives of the victims left the courtroom looking somber and without commenting.

A message seeking comment was left for Bell's court-appointed attorney. Priel's court-appointed attorney declined to comment.