Man admits to murdering girl and her uncle

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An Indianapolis man admitted Friday that he murdered a 7-year-old girl and her 21-year-old uncle in Cumberland.

Jeremy Priel pleaded guilty to two counts of murder for the killings of Kyleigh and Jeremy Crane.

Priel and Michael Bell were both arrested for breaking into the Crane family home in Cumberland in December 2011. Bell was friends with Jeremy Crane and even lived with him for a time.

Prosecutors said the suspects planned to steal an Xbox and PlayStation 3 from the house. Both victims were shot in the head.

“If he wanted to borrow the PlayStation 3, he would’ve given it to him. You don’t send someone in to rob your family,” said Jeremy Crane’s mother Cathy Crane about Bell shortly after his arrest. “Jeremy was his brother. Kyleigh was his niece. They trusted him.”

Shortly after his arrest, Bell gave Fox 59 an exclusive jailhouse interview where he said he was innocent.

“I was never in the house,” he told a Fox 59 reporter. Later, in the same interview, he said he was nearby.

Prosecutors filed requests for life sentences without parole for both Priel and Bell in 2012.

In April, Bell pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. He’s expected to be sentenced to 100 years during a hearing in August. It was at this time, prosecutors said, Priel’s attorney reached out to them and also accepted a plea deal.

“I think it’s a good resolution,” said Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson. “It’s a 110 year stipulated sentence. He gets no modification rights. No appeal of the sentence. Even assuming the best of good time credit, it’s 55 years in the department of corrections.”

Priel’s sentencing is set for July 26 at 10 a.m. Robinson said the Crane family will take that opportunity to speak to Priel, Bell, and the judge.