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January 10, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

'Y student
ordered to
ace felony
*harges
LSA sophomore faces
15 felony charges
including arson,
assault and murder
By Josh White
aily Staff Reporter
District Court Judge Elizabeth Pol-
la *Hines ordered LSA sophomore
tal Lujan and Ann Arbor resident
ale Lipke ;o face more than 15 felony
harges in connection with the grue-
ome murder of a Superior Township
an and two September arsons.
Lujan and Lipke remain in
ashtenaw County Jail without bond
waiting a pretrial hearing scheduled
or Friday. Chief Assistant Prosecutor
oseph Burke, who is working on the
e said Washtenaw Circuit Court
u'e Melinda Morris may set a trial
ate at that time.
The two are accused of taking part
'n a two-week crime spree, during
hich 47-year-old Daniel P. Rice was
eaten to death and latertorched along
ith his house, School of Music
ophomore Erika Banks was as-
aulted, Banks' Baits room was lit on
ire and a Saline man's semi-auto-
atic pistol was stolen.
jan and Lipke face counts of ar-
oil, assault with intent to murder,
ttempted murder, conspiracy to com-
it murder, felony murder and open
urder in connection with Rice's
eath and the Baits fire. Lujan also
aces two charges relating to the theft
f former co-worker Charles Carter's
mm semi-automatic pistol, which
olice found in her possession.
rosecutors called 19 witnesses dur-
* 9he preliminary hearings, illus-
rating Rice's death and a long chain
f events that led to the Sept. 18 mur-
er. Rice's house was set ablaze Sept.
0, leading police to find Rice's
harred body. Experts testified that
Rice's skull was crushed by repeated
eavy blows and that he was bound
and strangled.
Banks, Lujan's ex-girlfriend, testi-
fied about their turbulent relationship,
h allegedly led to an assault on
Bas at the end of the second week of
September. Lujan allegedly paid two
women to cut off a swath of Banks'
hair. Banks also said Lujan had a
change in behavior after she sustained
ahead injury while sparring with Carter
last year.
"She claimed that it was not her do-
ing things," Banks said. "She talked
about being possessed. She mentioned
h aches and having pain.... She also
got drunk (more often)."
On Sept. 22 Lujan and Lipke alleg-
edly set fire to Banks' room with gaso-
line in an attempt to kill her, bu Depart-
ment of Public Safety officials had
moved Banks earlier that week. The
two were arrested in Ann Arbor on
Sept. 23.
Burke said the trial may not start for
six to eight weeks, and Friday's hearing
wallow for defense pretrial motions
a orthesetting ofatrial date. He also

predicted that the trial may be lengthy.
"The large numbers of witnesses
and the complex nature of the testi-
mony caused the preliminary hearings
to be so long," Burke said. "It is fairly
rare that they go beyond three or four
hours. We will be calling more wit-
nesses in the trial, and the defense will
present a case.
p y guess is that it won't be com-
p ed in a week's time," Burke said.

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 10, 1996 - 5A

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Engler signs
law to honor
tainted turtle
LANSING (AP) - Politicians have
ridden lots of issues into public office.
But a turtle?
If 1 0-year-old John Marazita III gets
his way, the governor's signing of a bill
to make the painted turtle the state rep-
tile will be Marazita's first step toward
becoming governor.
"I want to lower taxes," Marazita
MIyesterday as he waited for Gov.
nEngler to sign the bill. He then
said he was a Democrat.
"I'm not buying that for a momnt,'
the Republican governor said with a
smile. But Engler conceded: "He's got
a head start to being a governor."
With two painted turtles crawling

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