Man Pleads Guilty in Ind. Teens' Killings
Oct. 31, 2005
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) _ A man pleaded guilty Monday to killing three teenagers and burying their bodies in the basement of his rented home.
In exchange for his plea, David Edward Maust, 51, will receive three sentences of life without parole.
Police said the three victims _ Nicholas James, 19, James Raganyi, 16, and Michael Dennis, 13 _ were attracted by beer and marijuana that Maust had given them.
James' girlfriend reported him missing in May 2003. Raganyi and Dennis disappeared four months later, after leaving notes they were running away from home.
Police searched the basement of Maust's apartment building and found freshly poured concrete. A cadaver-sniffing police dog led police to remove the concrete and expose the graves. At least two bodies were wrapped in plastic and secured with cords and tape.
Police said they suspect Raganyi and Dennis died of suffocation or strangulation and James of a fractured skull.
Maust, whose trial was scheduled to start Monday, will be sentenced Dec. 16.
Maust has been in and out of mental institutions since an early age. In Illinois, a judge committed him in 1985 because he was unfit to stand trial on an earlier murder charge.