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Trio Faces Jan. Hearing In Elderly Man’s Murder

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Rikky Ranger - Mark Paling - Richard Thompson (Booking Photos - Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office)

Rikky Ranger – Mark Paling – Richard Thompson (Booking Photos – Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office)

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ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) - A judge has scheduled a Jan. 3 probable-cause hearing for three young men charged in the robbery-slaying of a 71-year-old man at a senior living complex in Ann Arbor.

Twenty-year-old Rikky Ranger of Melvindale, 19-year-old Mark Paling of Melvindale and 19-year-old Richard Thompson of Flat Rock appeared in court Thursday, but their preliminary examination was postponed at the request of the lawyers representing them.

The trio is accused of killing David E. Maurer, whose badly decomposed body was found Dec. 1 inside his apartment at Lurie Terrace senior housing, located on Huron Street just west of Main Street.

Authorities say the men, who were homeless at the time, killed Maurer on Nov. 23, stealing a computer, money, drugs, credit cards, a cellphone and firearm. Officials haven’t yet released an official cause of death, although they did say Maurer was not shot.

Police told reporters that Maurer was acquainted with the suspects and willingly allowed them into his apartment. Ranger’s stepfather, James Ryan, told the Ann Arbor News that Maurer had personal relationships with his stepson and Paling, who as teenagers worked at a booth Maurer ran at the Gibraltar Trade Center in Taylor.

According to a report by the Ann Arbor Journal, Maurer invited the three men to stay at his apartment on the night he was killed. Thompson allegedly confessed to holding Maurer in a “sleeper hold” while Ranger and Paling rummaged through his belongings. After a few minutes, Maurer went limp and fell face down on his couch, the Journal reported, which was apparently the same position his body was discovered.

The men are facing charges of open murder, unarmed robbery, conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery, larceny in a building, and larceny of a firearm. If convicted, they face life in prison without parole.

MORE: Murder Victim Willingly Let Suspected Killers Into Apartment

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