Michael Crane, charged in 3 killings, pleads guilty to burglary charges

PHOENIX (AP) -- A man charged with killing three people in burglaries nearly seven years ago in metro Phoenix has pleaded guilty to three unrelated burglaries.

Michael Lee Crane, who was at times combative and chuckling during the Wednesday hearing, said he was changing his plea "under duress."

The judge accepted the plea over the objections of defense attorneys.

The burglaries that Crane pleaded guilty to happened in 2009 and in November 2011.

Crane, of Mesa, will be sentenced Feb. 8, four months before his murder trial is tentatively set to start.

The 38-year-old is charged in the January 2012 killings of Bruce Gaudet and Lawrence and Glenna Shapiro.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.