Trial under way for man in hammer deaths of dad, 87, mom, 85

PONTIAC (AP) — A trial has begun for a 53-year-old suburban Detroit man with a history of mental illness and substance abuse who’s accused of beating his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother to death with a hammer.

Jeffrey Maurer’s trial started Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court. He’s charged with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

Stephanie Rupp testified Monday that she went to her parents’ Rochester Hills home, and her brother came to the door dressed only in underwear and wouldn’t let her in. She called authorities Jan. 19, and sheriff’s deputies found the bodies of William and Gayle Maurer in a vehicle in the garage.

Maurer’s lawyer withdrew a request for an insanity defense after his client was found mentally competent.

Testimony resumed Tuesday.