Three homeless youths will face life in prison if convicted of killing a senior citizen they met on gay mobile networking app Grindr.
19-year old Richard Thompson, 19-year old Mark Paling and 20-year old Rikky Ranger confessed to Ann Arbor Police in Michigan they stole credit cards, cash, computer and a gun from 71-year-old David Maurer after strangling him.
Ranger had met Maurer previously and they had gone out a few times, according to police reports. The other two youths suggested they meet with Maurer to rob him.
The three men allegedly arranged to meet Maurer, went back to his house to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana on 23 November.
When Maurer began to get ‘sexually active’ with Ranger and Paling, they reportedly signaled to Thompson who put Maurer in a chokehold for five to 10 minutes.
The suspects were seen leaving the complex an hour and a half later on security camera footage.
Police detective William Stanford told Mlive News the death of Maurer was treated as natural, when on 1 December police received a 911 call that a body had been found in Lurie Terrace Apartment, a senior housing complex.
The man was found kneeling in front of his sofa, facedown on the cushions. Maurer had died several days prior, as ‘there was a strong odor of decay’.
But on 11 December, the complex’s manager called the police to say she came across security camera footage of Maurer walking into the complex with three young men on 23 November at 9pm, the estimated date of his death.
As police noticed Maurer’s wallet was missing, they used Maurer’s stolen credit cards to track down the three suspects, who used the cards at a local retail store, a McDonald’s and gas stations.
The three youths were living with the caretaker of a local church, who said he took in several homeless people.
The three youths are being tried for murder, unarmed robbery, conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery, larceny in a building and larceny of a firearm. Their hearing is scheduled for 26 December.